Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Quest for Fame

It seems that our society is increasingly obsessed with those who have obtained celebrity status. Whether it’s the television and print media featuring the latest “news” about the struggles of Paris Hilton or Britney Spears, the legal battles for the custody of Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter, or the latest exploits of O. J. Simpson, people seem fascinated by the lifestyles and antics of the rich and famous. The racks near the checkout stands of any supermarket are filled with magazines that feature the latest gossip about Hollywood stars or those who are prominent in politics or sports. There appears to be an insatiable appetite to keep up with the lives of these individuals.

Jake Halpern, author of the book Fame Junkies, notes that a motivation for the obsession with fame is the basic desire we all have for attention. One of the troubling things Halpern observes in his book is the extent to which young people will go to achieve fame—spending thousands of dollars to modeling agencies and to compete in talent contests, while the great majority of them will never attain the recognition they are seeking. I want to suggest that the drive for acceptance and attention that underlies the search for fame is a basic need we all share. Perhaps the unhealthy extremes that some folks demonstrate in this area are the product of insecurity and not having received the love and support of family members or other significant people in their lives.

While most of us will never experience the fame that comes from being a celebrity, we can all know the love and acceptance that are found in a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The Lord isn’t impressed by our accomplishments, nor does He evaluate us according to our performance on a scale of good behavior. He loves us as we are—unconditionally—and He accepts us into His forever family with all the accompanying rights and privileges. Wouldn’t you agree that that’s a far better deal than the fame that comes from winning a talent contest or having one’s image plastered on the cover of a magazine?

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