Helping People Connect with God

Lent Devotional V: Renounce Fame

The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” – Luke 4:9-12 

Given the choice between being famous or unknown, many of us would choose fame. Fame after all, gives us adoration, prestige, and influence. The Devil tries to lure Jesus by tempting him with fame. If Jesus is seen falling from the temple and rescued by angels, people will notice him, a perhaps accept his claim to be son of God; making his ministry more effective.

But Jesus understands that his path must be one of humility, seeking not his glory, but to glorify the Father. Part of his task is to withhold his divine powers, so he may connect with the world at a human level. And even so, such a spectacle would offer momentary fame, but not genuine faith (see the skepticism at Jesus’ other miracles). 

Here in lies the lesson: When we seek our own fame; to glorify ourselves by putting ourselves in front or at the top, this shows how limited our faith is and fails to bring others to genuine faith. To choose humility instead of notoriety; a life of quietness over a life of fame, puts us in a place to honour God. It is better to be known by God than to be known by the whole world. For when we are content to be known by God, the world and all it’s traps and snares, expectations and competitions, trophies and achievements become meaningless.

Fame and position also put a wedge between us and those who need Jesus. We become unapproachable, or in the very least, un-relatable. People don’t see Jesus in us, but the facade of our position or fame. This is why we must do everything to not seek fame. Influence is best gained by walking humbly and relating to others at a human level.

Are you tempted to seek your own glory? Do you wrestle with being known by God? Pray and contemplate on these matters.