ARTICLE: EARLY FAME – A SILENT QUICK KILLER | Babatope Adefunmilayo

Fame! It was recorded about Jesus after he rebuked the unclean spirit that troubled the man in the synagogue in Capernaum, the people were amazed seeing that the man was delivered from the torture of evil spirit, this amazement led to an immediate unpaid advertisement. Mark 1:28 “And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee”.

As we proceed, it’s imperative that we look through some definitions of the word Fame.

Cambridge dictionary: “The state of being known or recognized by many people because of your achievements, skills, etc.”.

Oxford Lexico dictionary: “The state of being known or talked about by many people, especially on account of notable achievements”

Thesaurus.com: “Widespread reputation, especially of a favorable character; renown; public eminence” ALSO “Common estimation or opinion generally held of a person or thing; reputation”.

There is a difference between seeking to be accepted and the desire to be known, though this difference may just be a thin line. Its really possible to be known but not accepted especially if you are being notable for the wrong/not generally acceptable things or controversy; its not possible to be accepted and not be known especially when you are a person of impeccable character and integrity.

If the definitions of fame above are anything to follow, then its apparent fame is one of the rewards for proper use of one’s skills or talents especially for the benefit of humanity. Suffice to say seeking fame or acceptance without offering the world something valuable in exchange for that which you seek is you being a cheat.  The law of sowing and reaping cannot be over emphasized.

However, this piece centers around those who diligently honed their skills and thereafter got famous for it. The thing about fame is it could be a silent quick killer if not properly managed because of the pecks that comes with it.

It is generally believed that the main advantage of being famous is making money easily especially for those who decide to use their image/popularity to promote/publicize brands, what is commonly referred to nowadays as Brand Ambassadors.

One other advantage of being famous is the preferential or special treatment that you get when you find yourself in places – events, malls, airport, etc. Also, the fact that people can easily come to your aid when the need arises, for example your car breaks down on the road, getting assistance from people may be quicker for a famous person than just any other person in same situation.

However, being famous can also put you in awkward positions – pay bills you didn’t plan for, accepting to let go of some wrong deeds from someone in public places, not being able to enjoy the luxury of hanging out with your friends in recreational centers or restaurants because some fans just want to take pictures, autographs or media guys wanting “short” interviews.

You are also exposed to quick judgement from the general public and as such can’t easily get away with what other persons find easy to walk away from without crucifixion.

One thing about fame is the capacity it has to completely change a person especially the type that looks like an overnight or sudden occurrence rather than gradual or systematic.

Depending on the person and how the popularity came about, fame is capable of making anyone live a double lifestyle – one person in the closet and a different person in public. A famous person may be silently fighting an identity crisis unknown to anyone else, battling with the celebrity image and authenticity of his/her person.

The person who has been on the backside of life for a period of time yet consistent with the good works using his/her skills and talents finally getting a breakthrough that brings about popularity and all the pecks that comes with it has tendencies of handling fame better compared to the person whose fame happened like a magic or miracle.

Unfortunately, the younger folks especially the “freshers” are at a higher risk when it comes to how popularity can slowly and silently kill or destroy not just a career but also the person. Fame can puff you up so much so that you lose regards for people including your contemporaries and “seniors”.

For us in the kingdom or as Christians, its such a big risk if not properly managed. It doesn’t take time before your followership skyrockets either on social media or in person especially in today’s world where number is a lot to people. And for a younger Christian creative, waking up to 1million followers on your instragram handle, 1million streams of your recently released single can be such a big deal.

Worse still is getting calls, mails, direct messages from people calling you daddy and wanting you to mentor them. A poorly managed fame at this point becomes a deadly poison. Unfortunately, these people who sing your praise do not really care, its just the rave of the moment as they would be the first set of persons to crucify you if anything bad goes on air about you. You can be sure only a few would be in the circle of let’s pray for these celebrities, they are ministers but also humans, a consideration that may come after they must have also passed judgements.

The fact that as a fresher in the hall of fame you unconsciously begin to see yourself as a colleague to those who by all standard are way ahead of you in the journey is deadlier. Your number of followers, invitation to events etc. being higher than theirs is not enough to make you see them as colleagues although that’s what you all are in the real sense, but wisdom should be profitable to direct on your dealings with the old timers {for lack of better description}.

Does that mean that the old timers are doing a good job handling fame and all the pecks that comes with it? The answer is NO, but then away from the few of them who may be caught marginalizing, condescending, or with apparent aura of pride, these oldies do well with managing fame most especially because for them it was gradual and not a sudden/overnight occurrence.

What is the antidote to this deadly poison?

The text quoted above from the book of Mark 1 has its 35th verse pointing out that Jesus after healing all the people brought to him as a result of his fame travelling abroad, departed into a secluded spot, and prayed {MSG}. It can be deduced from this scripture that sometimes when the ovation is getting really loud you need to just hide yourself to go and empty the accolades to the owner {GOD} and be refueled too.

Paul speaking in Phillipians 3:13-14 says “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead; I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus {NIV}

Do not always consider yourself to have “arrived” because of the accolades of men, you would be surprised to know that there is more than you have elsewhere. Your fame is not a license to be arrogant, condescending or unteachable. The more you dig, the more you realize you need to know.

Learn that men are fickle and as such their accolades are strongly dependent on how they feel per time about you and what you do. The same sets of persons who cried your hosanna can also shout crucify him the next minute.

Know also that you were once not in that hall of fame, some people have been there before you and surely some others are coming in after you. Also look ahead of you and learn from people you once heard of as occupants of the hall of fame who aren’t there anymore due to mismanagement of all that came with it, find out what they didn’t do right and ensure you don’t fall into the same pits.

Get the lessons from some of the oldies on how they have been able to remain relevant and properly managed fame and all the juicy packages that came perhaps still coming with it.

Fame is good, it comes as a reward for good work but is also a silent quick poison that kills if not properly managed, you can’t afford to be destroyed by it. Rather let it be of you a Widespread reputation, especially of a favorable character.

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One comment

  1. I learnt alot .God bless you