In the spotlight: Where the cravings of attention and purpose meet

People like attention. In the military I had to regularly concentrate on my performance appraisals if I wanted to get promoted. At first it was difficult because most of the time we had team-oriented thinking. It was a way to ensure my performance was benefiting the team. However, the caution attached to it was the innocent walk down the path to self-centeredness. The fault was not in personal achievement or wanting to accomplish ambitious goals. We should all strive to improve ourselves and add value where we can.

Problems come with praises…do not let your press go to your head. Getting a lot of positive affirmation has a way of puffing us up. The belief that we rightfully deserve it-is exhilarating. And it can be good for us if we do not devalue others in the process. “I realize how kind God has been to me, and so I tell each of you not to think you are better than you really are. Use good sense and measure yourself by the amount of faith that God has given you.” (Romans 12:3)

Always being in the spotlight puts the ((ME)) in focus way too much. It causes someone to believe that everyone submits to their self-interested desire. And poses an existential threat to all your relationships as it weakens the bonds over time.

A misrepresentation of scripture can appear as truth. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) Let your light shine is a worthy saying if people know why. Otherwise, it is just a misrepresentation of scripture.

Attention-grabbing should be for a godly purpose, not our own. When this is carried out properly it has eternal significances. A measure of self-assessment: Is God being glorified? He does not want us to shine for our own benefit. He knows this way of thinking is not only destructive us, but to others as well.

Do not get burned by the light. Always remember that light attracts. Being in the spotlight might fulfill your emotional desire to feel handsome or beautiful, but it can bring the wrong type of attention your way.

You cannot help but shine. Be on guard…just do not hide your light. There are times when you will need to be in the spotlight, so God can use you for specific purposes. If you find yourself relishing in the light more than you should, it is probably time to step back. Protect your opportunities to reach others…do not let them burn up. The wrong mindset will put limits on relationship building. Be courageous enough to live in the background when necessary. Develop your readiness to shine by growing deeper in your relationship with God. It is the best defense against “do not think of yourself more highly than you ought to.”