QUICK! Before the Paparazzi Find You Read This!
When you understand what people are looking for from fame and what they get instead, it becomes perfectly clear why so many “Michael Jacksons” go to Neverland, so many “Hannah Montanas” go “Miley Psycho” and so many “Justin Biebers” go – uhhh – to jail.
It’s the fame fallacy: Everyone knows your name, but nobody knows you. Not really.
But what keeps people working in the factory of fame?
Though fame cannot fulfill your need for intimacy, it can fill your yearning for these four social benefits:
That’s right! Four relational perks for the price of one. It’s a veritable relational 4-in-1 mega-bargain prize pack! No wonder so many long for the bright lights of the stage, screen, field or court.
But not so fast. Remember, those four relational delights can easily become intimacy impostors. Which is to say that, when we prioritize any of these social needs over life-giving intimacy, we make it far more difficult for us to actually experience true intimacy.
And to review, it is only in healthy relational intimacy with the most important people in our lives that we discover who we are and why we’re here.
- All the attention in the world cannot define your worth in the eyes of God.
- Being accepted “just the way you are” will not clarify your purpose in life.
- Securing influence does not make your existence more significant.
- Making it in some exclusive inner circle will not lend meaning to your life.
So while the initial problem with fame, lies in its failure to deliver the promised intimacy, the secondary problem with fame is the exact opposite. It WILL deliver the attention, acceptance, influence and exclusivity it promises. And in the end you’ll likely be sorry. Even more so than you might think.
Can I have Your Attention?
If leading the High School team gets you high fives after every win, how about leading the team in this week’s big game on ESPN?!?
The trick is this though. While everyone wants attention when they’re doing well, most don’t want any when they’re doing poorly. And while many love the bright lights when their personal life is glorious, not so many want it when it’s more notorious.
So while the attention in the good times may be worth its weight in tweets, that same attention when you’ve been bad… well… good feelings gone. And when you think about it, what right does one have to demand anonymity when in trouble, after reveling in it when it when all was well.
Why be content playing the class clown, when you can get your YouTube channel humming, get discovered and become the next big comedian. I think all of them have the same story. They were bullied back in school, but look at them now.
However, not everyone will love you. No. Not even you. It’s just the way it is. Every famous person has their haters, even if they happen to be haters who simply love to hate.
Even your fans won’t accept everything about you, and when you’re famous they’re judging it all: what you said, how you said it, and what you were wearing when you said it.
Of course, you can train yourself not to take it personally. You can tell yourself the truth: they don’t really know you, so their opinion doesn’t matter. But then what does that say about their opinion when it’s in your favor? Does any of it matter?
Ahhh, the madness of fame.
Looking for influence?
But here’s the reality: the wider your influence the shallower the depth.
Certainly I get the occasional privilege of receiving an email or Facebook message that goes to great lengths to explain how something I’ve written or shared from stage has impacted someone deeply. And God bless you if you are one of those people.
However, in truth, I don’t know if God wants to use me to change your life, but I know that I know that I KNOW He’s called me to influence the ones closest to me, particularly my wife and kids. Don’t you think the same would be true for you?
But the allure of fame tempts us with the potential of impacting many, while we take advantage of (or ignore) the people who know us and love us best. So as we’re using our precious influence to make a positive impact on the world, our local impact (frankly the only one I really think matters), is less than positive. Sometimes it’s pathetic.
Would You Like an Exclusive?
Nothing portrays the ecstasy of the exclusivity of fame quite like a rap song, with the notable exception of RockStar by Nickelback. Be that as it may, here again, the fire hose of fame turns what might have been a good thing into a bad thing.
Sure if you’re a rock star you’ll be able to go places I can’t go, but the more famous you become the more places you will discover you can’t go. Anymore. Like your favorite restaurant, or the mall, or the airport. Any place really; any place there are a significant number of people who will, no doubt, recognize you. And want you to sign their armpit.
So again, I appeal to you who long so deeply to be well known:
Endeavor to be well known by family and friends, those who actually could know you well. And you them.
[This is post is part of a series called Relation^ology (it begins with this post) where we identify the greatest relational need of our heart and then ID the counterfeits we seek out or settle for instead. Relation^ology started out as a discussion series and can be booked for your college, youth or young adults group (or singles group, life group, cell group, community group or whatever they’re calling Bible study these days).]
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
Dug this weekend’s DNA? Tell your friends by liking or commenting on our FMU Facebook page or on your own Facebook page by clicking the button below.
The LoveEd study guide series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE YOU FALL IN LOVE! It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. Check out the first two 8-lesson study guides in our store. You can walk through it on your own, but it’s more fun with friends, so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study. Even better? And ask a married couple you respect to lead it!