Being a public figure on any level isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I’m not sure whether there are more individual adjustments for the person recognized to deal with or more learning how to better cope with those, by whom he is recognized. For instance, if a public figure doesn’t deal with the distinct difference between how he or she is perceived by the public, versus their authentic self, it's therapy waiting to happen. I’m not certain of a lot of things, but of this one thing, I am sure. I am not how I am perceived by those people I have never met.
Likewise, a public figure that places any level of credence in private media, or social media comments, whether good or bad, is in the wrong line of work. If we do what we do for approval, we will be hugely disappointed. If I think the approval I have today will be there tomorrow, I will be devastated. Unless every person, public or private, is coming from the mindset of, “I’m not here for me – I’m here for you,” they have one foot inside an “IT’S ALL ABOUT ME” world that will undoubtedly lead to heartache and disaster.
I have received comments over the years, suggesting that I was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Though it sounds good, and quite frankly, for a brief moment it made me feel good, I knew then, know now, and always will be aware that I’m not even on the level of that little twisty thing that closes the package and keeps the bread fresh.
At other times, I have been called everything from pious to pathetic. Not unlike others who are publicly recognized, I also have heard that I am a fraud, heretic, and all-around loser. As false as those compliments are, the criticisms are on equal footing. I know this because God says I am wondrously made. I figure God should know. I also know that He reconciled with me 2000 years ago, and all He asks is that I do everything within my power to reconcile with others. That’s easier some days than others. I must confess, I haven’t mastered it yet, and likely, never will.
I’m no genius, but my soon to be 63 years on this earth have taught me a few things. First, in and of myself, I’m not “all that” and a bag of chips. If we live for approval, what do we do when that fickle support moves on to another, leaving us with the stamp of, “In you, I am so disappointed?” If our life is all about our gorgeous hair, what do we do when it falls out? If our life is wrapped up in our beauty, what do we do when it fades with the sands of time?
We collapse, that’s what we do. I counsel more people than I can count who find themselves devastated by the loss of public approval, or crushed by malicious criticism. Believe it or not, I’ve also met others who can’t deal with getting older or losing their beauty. They make the mistake of believing their press, or the press of others, aimed as arrows in their direction.
Life begins in knowing whose we are, not who we could be, if we lived better, believed more, or won the approval of the right crowd. Jesus sees us as perfect. So perfect, in fact, that He surrendered His life to God to set us free. Here’s the Good News. God received His Son’s gift and said, “Thank you.”
In an instant, God satisfied Himself with everything and everybody. Faith is everything. Believe in this.