Insights: Fifteen Minutes of Fame

The phrase “fifteen minutes of fame” has been attributed to Andy Warhol who said, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”1 In our culture of social media, tabloids and internet news, the sensational explosions of a person bursting on the scene are sent light-speed around the world in the time it takes a match to burn down.

There are some fifteen minute famers that many will remember. For example in 2006, Time recorded fifteen people who had fifteen minutes of fame. These included:

1) WARREN JEFFS: The polygamous sect leader was arrested for arranging child-bride marriages. In America. In 2006;

2) HEATHER MILLS MCCARTNEY: Her split from Paul was the biggest Brit schism since 1776. And less amicable;

3) GREG ANDERSON: Barry Bonds’ personal trainer waits out the steroids scandal in jail. Guess his career will take a hit;

4) CARLA MARTIN She may have coached witnesses in the Zacarias Moussaoui case, putting the error in terror trial;

5) ZINEDINE ZIDANE: The soccer star head-butted another player at the World Cup, giving French fans a headache; and ten others, but, frankly, I had forgotten these individuals, so I’ll not list the next ten.2

Unfortunately, there are too many who want 15 minutes of fame at the expense of others. There was the DC Navy Yard shooter in September, 2013, the DC Capital shooter in October, 2013 and the Northeast DC shooter in November, 2013. Then you have the Aurora shooter, James Holmes, in July, 2012, and many others who wanted some form of attention before ending their own lives. Why? Why are people so desirous of fame or attention?

Consider that Jesus never sought fame. When He healed the leper, He said, “And He charged him to tell no one…” (Luke 5:14) When Jesus healed many, He warned them not to tell others, “But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great multitudes  followed Him, and He healed them all. 16 Yet He warned them not to make Him known…” (Matt. 12:15-16) After the great miracle of raising Lazarus, Jesus remained in private, “Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there remained with His disciples.” (John 11:54) And there are many other passages.  Why?

Jesus remained anonymous, besides his disciples and a few others who knew Him, because His time on earth was about the cross, not the crown.  It was about the Father’s will, not personal fame. It was only after the cross that Jesus permitted others to proclaim the good news of His resurrection (Matt. 28:19-20).

Yet, just the opposite is true with Satan, who seeks after fame at every step. From the very beginning, he desired fame as he sought to announce his five “I wills.” (Is. 14:12-14) He wanted to give Jesus control over the kingdoms on earth (Luke 4:5-7). He wants to do the same for anyone else, even if it is only for 15 minutes. Those who seek the fame are reflecting Satan’s desire, rather than Jesus’ will.

What do you seek in life?


2 Read more: 15 Who Had Their 15 Minutes of Fame – TIME


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