Be famous for the person you are, not what you have done

I heard a radio interview last week with Tom Jones, recounting stories of his time on The Voice UK.

Thursday, 25th June 2020, 9:51 am
Updated Thursday, 25th June 2020, 9:52 am
Sir Tom Jones, second from left, with fellow judges from the latest series of The Voice UK, from left, Olly Murs, Meghan Trainor and Will.i.am

I was surprised by how unabashed he was about his own fame.

I was waiting for him to play-down his personal appeal, but instead he talked of how a new generation of young fans love him now.

He seemed comfortable in his own skin.

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The Reverend Nick Allan, of The Well Church, Sheffield

Then he said something very telling: that fame does not change a person, it merely magnifies the person they already are.

Jesus said something similar: “What you say flows from what is in your heart.”

In other words, whether we experience good or bad fortune, we should be preparing our hearts in advance.

We can each be investing in our characters, in who we really are deep within, so that we become the kind of people we want others to see, like, and even imitate.

As a Christian I try to imitate the Bible’s inspirational teachings about character into my everyday life.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behaviour. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:31-2).

I feel empowered by knowing Jesus to become a better person, because I first feel His love for me.

I have teenage children who tell me now and again that they want to be YouTubers when they grow up.

Each time I gently encourage them to focus on their school work, but most importantly to focus on the kind of person they are becoming.

Their social-media world seems to reward the ‘Instafamous’ with money and influence.

My dreams are they become famous, even in a tiny way to their friends, for the kind of person they are, not just for their achievements in life.

The Reverend Dr Martin Luther King famously said something similar, that he hoped people would be judged not by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character.

May we invest well in what truly lasts and improves the world around us.

The Reverend Nick Allan is minister of The Well Church, Ecclesall Road, Sharrow.

For daily livestreams, see wellsheffield.com