Friday, November 4, 2016

Celebrities Online

Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. (Matthew 14:13 NAS)

Celebrities Online
Many of us are in a sense like celebrities online. We join social networks and leave behind trails of digital footprints of what we do and where we visit on the Internet. Our movements are tracked down by our followers and we are ‘stalked’ by different kinds of people. If we leave trails because we desire attention or to be followed, we might just get our reward or lose our credibility in full, depending on how well we behave online.

Jesus during His ministry on earth was famed for His teachings and the miracles He performed. Even when He withdrew to a secluded place to be alone to pray, frequently the crowd would track Him down. Jesus did not turn them away or see them as invading his private life but felt compassion for them and healed their sick (Matthew 14:13-14). Although He received inordinate attention wherever He went, Jesus did not feel annoyed that He was stalked. Even when Jesus saw the crowd that came to watch the spectacle—His humiliation on the Cross—before He breathed His last, He did not resent them. Instead, He prayed for them saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34, 48).

Such was the contrast between staged publicity and the other of genuine love and care for the public.

Are we making ourselves famous for the wrong reasons or are we doing it out of concern for others? Not all things in life can be done in secret, so we need not hide what must be done, even in public. Our intent is what matters most—are we doing it to show off or to care?

Mold us, dear Lord, to become more like You in reaching out to others with love and compassion rather than to bring popularity or fame to ourselves.

Are we doing good to show off or to care?

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