Famous & Faithful

As I’ve previously written, Nicole Richie once quipped that it was only in America that you could become famous for being famous. Fame – once the province of actors and athletes (and previously artists and scientists) – has come to the masses. And it’s not just in America! A study released last year showed that 54% of 16 year-olds in the United Kingdom indicated that their future career plans were to “become a celebrity.” Perhaps even more disturbing, 20% of these teens indicated that they would accomplish this goal by being a contestant on a reality show.


An infatuation with fame wasn’t always so defining. Teddy Roosevelt once stated that it was “better to be faithful than famous” and many would agree that he had the equation right. After all, few care if their friends are famous when they find themselves in need. Similarly in a good marriage it’s our spouse’s faithfulness and not their renown that is the focus of our concern. Faithfulness is often what distinguishes a good employee from bad, a reliable friend from an acquaintance, and a celebrated spouse from a despised one. Unlike fame, there seems to be a dearth of faithfulness in our culture.


The irony for the Christian is that God desires faithfulness and fame. Faithfulness in this life, and fame in the next.  And it’s our faithfulness in this life that secures our fame in the next.


This is a hard equation to master. After all, we tend to think that as long as we aren’t doing anything “bad” we’re doing what God wants. God, however, doesn’t just call us to “not do bad,” He calls us to do His will. It’s in doing His will, in doing the best things as opposed to just the good ones, that acclaim in Heaven is achieved. Additionally, the  greater our eternal fame, the more crowns we have to lay at His feet. In other words, the more that we are able to honor Him – for eternity.

D.L. Moody, when hearing the news of his granddaughter’s birth, telegraphed back, “May she become famous in the kingdom of Heaven. [That] is the prayer of her grandfather!” That should be the prayers for not only our progeny, but for ourselves as well. We should pray that we would faithfully live out God’s calling in this life, that we would obey His Word, love His children, and do His bidding, so that in the next life, our renown would be great. Not for our own sake, but for the sake of His glory, and His eternal fame.


Who do you know that lived faithfully in this life in order to achieve fame in God’s kingdom?


What do you think?