We are not just “celebrities”, we are humans and sinners, children, and our lives are not void of values because we struggle. We are as equally forgiven as our neighbor. God is never a trend no matter who the believer.” – Lady Gaga, in response to a Catholic magazine article criticizing her public image
“Baby, remember my name.”
That phrase from the theme song of the movie “Fame” sums up the aspirations of many artists and musicians. We work hard to promote and produce things that will get attention. We want our creations to resonate in the hearts and minds of our audiences. We stand in the spotlight and present much of our lives as part of a product to be consumed and critiqued by the public.
Faith, on the other hand, is often considered a private matter that shouldn’t be judged or evaluated. Many artists struggle to reconcile the public nature of the industry with the private nature of our beliefs. What happens when our profession is challenged due to our public persona?
Jesus often associated with elements of society that his critics considered off-limits. His fame grew as he stepped into forbidden places and talked to people who did not fit the cultural norm. In almost all of these situations, he responded to critics by asserting this principle – it’s what’s inside a person, not what is outside of them, that makes them who they are.
If your faith is questioned as you become well-known, remember people are looking at the outward appearance. More exposure doesn’t equal better evidence. In fact, the more well-known you are, the less people know the real you.
As an artist, you’ll have to face critics that judge both your work and your worship. You’ll have to accept that some will never understand how faith works in your life. Know who you are and whose you are.
Is it possible for fame to cloud our judgment? Yes. We must be sensitive to how we present ourselves so we don’t send conflicting messages. But ultimately, critics should never determine the direction of our creativity. Let God guide your career. Only by walking closely with him can you maintain proper perspective. His desire isn’t to keep you from being known. It’s to make himself known through you.
When the spotlight is on you, whatever is in you will shine through.