Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Glitz and Glamor or Quiet and faithful?

     Unless you have been out of the country for a few weeks or do not own a television, it would be hard to miss the news concerning the performance of Miley Cyrus on a music awards program.  Her dance can only be described as lurid and vulgar representing the same kind of lustful moves of a sensual Salome as she performed before Herod Antipas (Mark 6:21-26) which culminated in the execution of John the Baptist.   
The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC
     Not only does this type of performance demean women and make them into sexual objects, but it also defiles the beauty of the sexual act designed for the marriage bed alone.  How did we come to this type of inappropriate public display of hedonism?  What took a young woman from Hannah Montana at Disney that drew in so many young children to a person who would shamelessly act out on stage?
     Part of the problem is the lure of fame.  Power, popularity, performance, and money have a magnetic attraction which is hard to resist in our sin nature.  We want to be the best, the top in any field of endeavor.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to achieve success.  However, if our motives are wrong, we displace God for the idol of our ambitions.  It all "started in the Garden" as my husband is so fond of saying.
     When Satan came to Eve in the Garden, he did not ask her to rebel against God openly.  Instead,   he merely made suggestions which appealed to her senses and experience.  Of course she objected at first saying that she and Adam were forbidden to eat or they would die.  However, Satan told her with certainty that she would not die but be like God in knowledge.  Now the bait was set.  Who would not want to be like God?  Don't we all want to run our own ship, make our mark, rule our own little kingdom?  This is exactly what the sin nature does, and advertisers and programmers know very well how we respond to the lure of having more and more things.  We want the new car, the big home, the glamor and the glitz and we want to be able to sing at the end of our life as Frank Sinatra did, "I did it my way".  What we fail to comprehend is that all that glitters in this world will one day turn to dust.  There is no happiness in having material success if we do not have inner peace and fulfillment which is found only in Jesus Christ.
     Paul, the Apostle, wrote in his letter to the Thessalonians how we should live as believers in contrast to the picture which the world paints of success.  I Thessalonians 4:1-8,10b-12  reads:  "Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing that you do so more and more.  For you know what instructions we gave to you through the Lord Jesus.  For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you.  For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.  Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives His Holy Spirit to you.....But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one."
     As we think about this passage, it should become obvious how this type of lifestyle lives in stark contrast to the glitz and glamor that the world touts as the ultimate experience.  Living a quiet life and honoring God both in our bodies and our conduct brings eternal rewards that are not destroyed by moth or rust.  Jesus calls it "laying up treasures in heaven."  
     This world cannot offer us the joy which Christ alone can give us.  When I see a Miley Cyrus acting out on stage, I pray for her that her eyes will be opened.  There are many like her who are caught up in themselves bound by the chains of sin and the lust of this world.  However, we are given clear guidance from the Bible on how we are to live.  Let us walk closely to the Lord so we, as believers, don't get caught up in the performance mentality of this world and let us humbly pray for those who are caught up in this mindset that God will open their eyes.  May we be instruments in leading others to the throne of grace so they can learn their true worth in Christ.  Selah!

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