Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Recognition Versus Being Recognized

    We live in a time where more and more people crave attention.  Beginning with radio, and later with the film industry, and finally with the advent of television, the cult of celebrity was fully birthed.   Now social media allows for the most common citizen to display their lives, no matter how mundane, to the logged on masses.  Words such as: likes, subscribers, views, followers, these terms for some are proof of their self worth and social standing.  To be recognized by a larger audience builds self esteem for the attention seeker.  The definition or at very least the standards, by which one would qualify as a quote 'celebrity', have most certainly been lowered.  Nowadays, certain people are referred to as celebrities, not because of any outstanding talent they possess, or  any worthwhile social contributions, but are called such, simply because they are recognized.
   There is an old saying that goes like this, "Don't put the cart before the horse."  My take from that bit of ageless wisdom is this.  For things to make sense, and to work correctly, they should be in a proper, commonsense order.  My question to the world of the attention seekers would be this.  What is more important, to feel important, or to do something of importance?  Shouldn't it be our positive accomplishments that receive the recognition, instead of our names?
    Abraham Lincoln said it in these words, "Don't worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition?"  Another old adage counsels, "Let your actions speak louder than your words."  What I think the President was exhorting, was for people to live a life that uplifts others, rather than a life of self promotion and attention seeking.
    Lincoln's admonition most definitely came from his knowledge of what the Bible teaches.  Listen to these words from the Apostle Paul.
  "This is the plan I follow, I try to please everyone, in everything I do, not doing what I like, or what is best for me, but what is best for them, so they may be saved."  1 Cor. 11:33
  "You can see I am not trying to please you by sweet talk or flattery, no, I am trying to please God.  If I was still trying to please men I could not be Christ's servant."  Gal. 1:10
  "As for praise we never asked it from you, or anyone else, although as apostles of Christ we certainly had a right to some honor from you."  1 Thess. 2:6
  "Let no man deceive himself, any man among you thinks he is wise, let him become humble that he may prove himself wise.  So let no one boast in men."  1 Cor. 3:18,21
   Some much more important questions to honestly ask ourselves would be these.  What is more important, to have a million followers on social media or be a single follower of Christ?  Or, to have a million people recognize name and face, or to have Christ say at the last judgement, "I never knew you."  You decide.
   Short quiz. Do you know the name of the person in the picture?

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