Speaking what matters
On Sunday, Meryl Streep was honored with a lifetime achievement award during the Golden Globes. According to CNN, “In a nearly 6-minute address while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award, the actress denounced Trump's campaign rhetoric and criticized him for mocking a disabled reporter.”
Even if you weren’t watching live, thanks to the internet, it quickly became the speech heard around the world. There was swift response from the American public. Millions of social media comments either applauded her boldness to speak her mind, or slammed her “Hollywood rhetoric.”
The vast majority of us will never have the opportunity to address a room full of finely dressed Hollywood elites, let alone, the nation. A small percentage may have the opportunity for some sort of speaking platform, or publication that could potentially reach others with our points of view. Yet, a lack of audience does not equate a lack of impact or importance.
It is so easy to equate self worth with success or popularity, yet that is quite contrary to what scriptures tell us. For those who have a personal relationship with Jesus, you have been given an unearned promotion of the most astonishing sort. You have become royalty! Son or daughter to the King of Kings!
So, what should we do with our appointed position of prominence? The answer is simple and less glamorous than we might want: Love God and love others.
I was recently reminded of another Hollywood speech, this one given by Susan Sarandon’s character in the 2004 movie Shall We Dance. In discussing marriage she says: “We need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet... I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things... all of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness'."
Let me ask you a question: Do you view your marriage as a mission field? Is your role as a spouse something you view as equally important as those who are out in remote jungles sharing the Gospel with unreached people groups? Maybe you feel stagnant and bored in your marriage and view just hanging on as an act of sacrifice. If both you and your spouse are Believers in Christ, the opportunity to be witness to the world of what healthy marital love looks like sets the stage to share the story of Christ and His bride. Don’t underestimate the power of serving God through your marriage.
For those of you that are parents, are you raising your children in the “fear and admonition of the Lord”? Maybe you’re overworked and overtired and feel you can’t compete with the messages of the world, so you’re just going to leave it to chance. Don’t! One thing was made abundantly clear through the Golden Globes is that the message of Hollywood is poised and polished. But all that glitters is not gold. Media tickles the ears of our children and influences them in a powerful way. Our job as parents is to not grow weary in doing (and speaking) good. Model Christ to your children. Use your platform as a parent to speak into the lives of your most treasured audience.
Singles, for you, “all the world’s a stage” and you can go wherever the Lord calls you to serve Him and love those that He puts in your path. If your stage happens to be an office in Cleveland or fast food restaurant in Sacramento, watch for the Director to give you the cue. You’re role is integral.
Regardless of what platform you’ve been given, if you use it for the glory of God, you will make an impact. You may never be re-tweeted, featured or promoted through social media. Yet, if you choose to genuinely love those around you, your life will make a far greater mark on the world than any speech. Imprint Christ upon those whom God has entrusted you with and look forward with eager anticipation to that moment when they receive the “Eternal Life Award.”
Even as I share this, I recognize that it’s all much easier said than done. After all, public validation is measurable. It’s much harder to trust an unseen God, walking in obedience through a life that the world may view as unremarkable. Let me leave you with a word of blessing from Romans 15, verses 5-7: May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”
So, raise your voice, take your stage and leverage your platform, knowing that you’ve been called to a good work. If you keep your eyes fixed on Christ, and find fulfillment in Him, your audience of one, than His validation becomes all that matters.