“When you’ve had all the experiences – met all the famous people, made some money, toured the world and got all the acclaim – you still think ‘is that it?’” —George Harrison of the Beatles
A few ways to identify if we’re bought into the ‘god’ (idol) of personal acclaim:
- Jealousy — Do you become easily envious of leaders who have more influence, a larger platform, or a bigger following than you?
- Despair — When someone’s talent, level of attention, fame or power eclipses your own, does it practically affect your level of joy – even driving you to despair?
- Self Absorption — Do you find yourself busily preening your public image, Googling your name, obsessing over how many times your sermons or songs have been downloaded, the number of hits on your site, or the number times you get retweeted?
- Need for Credit — Is it hard for you when others get credit for something you deserve? Do you find yourself constantly needing to set the record straight, mak
A key point, in part two, on repentance and faith:
The antidote begins with worship – to give glory back to God.
Repent: Repentance in this case looks like giving back to God what is rightfully his: worship. Glory. Renown.
Believe: Believe that the glory that comes from God is better, richer, and more lasting than the transient glory that comes from man (John 12:43).
Repent: Be humbled as you realize you have attempted to use the ministry and gifts God has given you to pilfer from him the fame and renown that he and he alone deserves.
Believe: Be lifted up as you realize and experience afresh your unalterable identity as son or daughter of the King who died to make rebels and glory thieves his kids.
Worship to repent. Worship to believe.
Also, some practical suggestions on how to lead ourselves from a desire for personal acclaim to true worship of God:
If acclaim is your idol of choice:
- Begin the day with worship. Don’t rest till your study, meditation, or prayer leads to adoration.
- Command your soul to worship. Don’t wait for the music or the feeling. David did this multiple times throughout the Psalms, just look up “O my soul”.
- Practice being more expressive. Shout, clap, dance. You have to retrain your body, mind, and soul. Learn again the language of adoration. This is a fight for your heart’s affection.
- Memorize Psalm 16 (“In your presence there is fullness of joy.”) Psalm 42 (“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.”) or Psalm 63 (“My soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you.”)
A great place to start, right now, is to sing, pray, and meditate on these words from Be Thou My Vision:
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.