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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

God's Paparazzi

I once saw an internet headline that read “Paris Hilton's Dogs Alive, Well and Very Pampered “. My immediate reaction was “who cares? Who would click on that headline to read an article about Paris Hilton’s dogs?” But then I thought of all the similar type headlines over the past few years detailing Britney Spear’s escapades. Obviously, since these headlines keep cropping up, someone must be reading them. If there was no interest, they would stop printing those types of articles. In the sports world, kids will often emulate the moves of those they idolize. Our society seems to have a fixation on celebrities, whether in the area of sports, entertainment or politics. Why is it that we have more attraction to and fascination with Tom Brady or Britney Spears or American Idol than we do with St Paul, St Augustine, Mother Teresa or Jesus? I wonder what this says about the society in which we live? Does it suggest that our priorities are out of whack? Sadly, I think it does. Celebrities have obtained an almost cult-like status. They are practically worshipped by their adoring fans. The frenzied attempts by the paparazzi to follow and report on their every movement points to this worshipful fixation our society has upon its celebrities. The paparazzi seek to discover every possible thing they can about the celebrity they want to know – what they eat, who they associate with, what they wear, what they say and think, etc. They go to great lengths to obtain this information, at times even risking their own lives or the lives of those they follow.

Sometimes we do the same in the church. We can become fixed on a particular pastor, TV evangelist or popular Christian musician. They can almost become an object of worship. In its extreme form such fixation becomes almost cult-like. Yet we often don’t have the same focus on God. The singleness of purpose which we have in other areas of life is never transferred to our relationship with God.

Why is it that we don’t have the same fixation on God? He is certainly more important than the celebrities. Yet he is often ignored or thought about only on Sundays. Why aren’t we Christians looked upon as the paparazzi who follow after God, seeking to know his every thought, word and deed? What does the existence of only a sparse number of Christian paparazzi say about our relationship with Him? Do we identify with them or do we find them uncomfortable? Are we willing to put forward as much risk in our pursuit of God as the paparazzi sometimes do in following the celebrities?

God desires that we be part of his paparazzi, sold out to knowing everything we can about him. He wants us to diligently study each of his attributes so that we can live like him. He seeks for us to live holy lives because he himself is holy. He calls us to have an intimate relationship with him. He wants us to live incarnationally, living Christ-like lives. But this requires that we have an in-depth acquaintance with him. We must have a paparazzi-like attitude, sold out to discovering who Jesus is and identifying with him. Unless we do this, we will not be able to live incarnationally.

What is your attitude? Is your attitude towards God similar to that of the paparazzi who follow after the celebrities? Are you sold out to God? Are you as excited about God as they are towards the celebrities they follow? Are you one of God’s paparazzi?

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