My ten-year-old is starstruck. Not by Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift or any of the usual suspects, praise the Lord, but by a couple of teenage YouTubers.
These sweet, smiley twins started out as hairstyle models for their parents’ YouTube show and then spun off on their own, somehow gaining a humongous following among kids like, well, my daughter.
Let me explain that she found this favorite show on the YouTube Kids app, not the actual YouTube site; I’m not in the habit of letting my children surf the depths of the interwebs, heaven help us. So there’s no issue with the content she’s watching, really. I watch it with her. It’s pretty G-rated.
But what I am caution of is her adoration. My daughter thinks these YouTubing sisters are awesome with a capital A. She dances to their music videos, mimics their phrases, even attempts to replicate their vlogs on her iPod. So what is it about these girls exactly that have captivated my daughter’s attention?
She says they’re funny, they’re entertaining, they’re creative. Lots of people love them.
I say yes, but they’re still human. They’re no different from you or me. Minus those millions of YouTube followers, maybe.
So in a moment of clarity from the Holy Spirit (thank you, Jesus), here’s what I told my daughter.
“Sweetheart, you know there’s a difference between being famous and being set apart.”
Fame is of the world. It’s temporary. It will one day soon shrivel and die—worthless.
But people who follow God above all else? Ah. They are set apart. Special, holy, cherished, eternal. And that’s sooooo way better than famous.
“You can be sure of this: The Lord set apart the godly for himself. The Lord will answer when I call to him” (Psalm 4:3, NLT).
Our kids today are growing up in an era when anybody can rise to homemade fame. YouTube, reality shows, podcasts, blogs—yes, I am part of the wave! Me, the mother! We don’t even necessarily need any special talents or ideas in order to make ourselves known in the public arena these days. I mean, I recently heard about a guy who made a boatload of money by drawing cats for people. And he wasn’t even an artist! All he needed was a website and a marketing shtick.
Do you get caught up in it, too?
We have this desire to know and be known. We follow famous people, even in the Christian arena. Pastors, authors, speakers, bloggers—many of them excellent people, yes. They have wisdom to share for God’s glory. But are we more interested in the wisdom, or the messenger?
There is only one person who is truly awesome with a capital A. We call him Almighty Father.
Are you following Him above all the other voices? I sure want to. And I am one of the other voices, for crying out loud.
Can we do this for one another? Don’t get sucked into the fame vortex. And I won’t, either. I don’t want to write this blog for the sake of building followers or hitting a big viral post. I don’t want to write books just to sell a million copies (unless that’s God will, which would be alright with me, duh). I want to do it because it’s the right thing, regardless of numbers. Because it’s who I am. It’s who you are.
But set apart.
And one day I hope my children will see that an obscure little set-apart life matters. Maybe not to the masses, but to us. To our family, our friends, our church, whomever God places in our path—for the sake of His fame, not ours.
“When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:4).