We live in a generation where names and faces are everything.
When it comes to social media, followers and comments play a big part in people’s identities. Selfies have become the norm because we need to make sure people don’t forget who we are and what we look like. Everyone needs to know what we’re doing, eating and hanging out with daily.
Sometimes there is nothing wrong with that. But what is our underlying motivation?
If we are blatantly honest, most of us have a deep need to be seen, heard, noticed and applauded. If our culture has taught us one thing, it’s that being famous is the pinnacle of success. Rich and famous. Rich, famous and good looking.
When I open my Bible, a totally different type of lifestyle confronts me. There are people in the Bible who God raised up into powerful roles and gave great fame and position – they were strategically used for His purposes. But I don’t see them desiring the fame like society today teaches us to. Often they were hidden away and sometimes taken through great trials until the specific time God chose to use them for His purposes.
Everyone needs to know what we’re doing, eating and hanging out with daily.
What I do see a lot of in the Word is learning to live to please God and not people. Learning to do good in secret and not for the applause of man.
In a world where fame, fortune and good looks are the supposed pinnacle of success, God’s ways truly do seem the complete opposite and completely challenge me and the world I live in.
In the Bible when it came to anointing the next King, naturally everyone supposed it would be the good looking and well known one that God would choose. It’s interesting to note what God told Samuel when he thought he had found the perfect King.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” “(1 Samuel 16:7 ESV)
So it’s not about our looks, or how successful we are on the outside, how many Facebook friends we have or Instagram followers, it’s about our heart. That’s something we don’t often see or hear much of in media today – movies or stories about people who are beautiful on the inside.
When it comes to standing before God and giving an account of our lives, I don’t know if we will recognise or even have heard of the ones He may chose to honour… the nameless and faceless ones who have served him behind the scenes, on the mission fields, in their own homes. The elderly woman who prays faithfully for the lost and has never desired a title or position but only to see God’s Kingdom come here on earth. We may have never heard of the secret giver or the unthanked teacher who spoke life into the souls of the students he taught each week.
Do I get my identity from who I am, the title or position I hold or my popularity? In this generation of fame, power, position and titles, am I willing to be unknown, hidden and one of the faceless ones who is willing to glorify God in everything without any earthly recognition?