Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Faith of a Celebrity

Wow!  Matthew McConaughey thanked God in his Oscar acceptance speech Sunday night. Various headlines I read implied that this was unusual because a) he was in Hollywood (where everyone is Godless) b) he's a bad-boy star, known as a party animal c) he's white or d) it was inappropriate.

I think it's wonderful that Mr. McConaughey expressed his gratitude. I think that acknkowledging that there is a force stronger than his own personal ability in the midst of one of the most exciting moments of his life is exemplary. I hope that many people will emulate him, and let God be their true north, the object of their gratitude. What I don't want to see is Matthew McConaughey become a "celebrity Christian."

God does not require celebrity endorsements. Celebrities, like all of us, are dust, and to dust they shall return. Mere mortals, no closer to God than ordinary people, they are useful when they create conversation about gratitude and faith, but certainly not necessary for that to happen. Their influence is limited because celebrity is fleeting. Today's Best Actor is only as important as his last role.

As parents, we are the most important stars in our children's lives. How they see and follow God has a lot more to do with what we do on a daily basis than what the Best Actor says or does in response to God. Do our children see us being grateful to God? Do they know that we consult God with major life decisions? Do they see your relationship with God occupying a high spot on your priority list? If they do, then you will have a far more lasting effect on the world than any words spoken by Matthew McConaughey at the Oscars.

Maybe we should be striving to make God a celebrity in our household. Does your child know as much about God as she does about the latest tween heart-throb? Do we spend as much time in conversation about where God is at work in the world or what God would have us do in the face of a given situation as we spend discussing the prospects for the Vikings, Cowboys, Rangers, Twins, Longhorns, Badgers, or Gold Medals at the Olympics?

God is, in fact, a rock star! God is Creator, Friend and Wisdom, the source of all that we need. Credentials like that require no celebrity endorsement to be made known, only the acknowledgement of ordinary people in ordinary circumstances. God remains, when all else turns to dust. God alone is worthy of our worship and our gratitude. Is that obvious to your kids?

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