The Price Of Fame

Whenever I read the newspaper I can’t help but feel sorry for President Bush. All the political cartoons make him look ridiculous. His physical features are exaggerated and they portray him as stupid. No mistake he makes is too small to be the subject of the cartoonists’ jokes. Sometimes I wonder how his wife and daughters feel when they see these cartoons. I can say this for sure: I am glad I am not the President.

People seem to feel it is OK to ridicule people or be extra critical of them if they are public figures. They have no problems saying something rude about these people, things they would not dare to say to them in person if they were just a neighbor. I suppose that’s just the price you have to pay when you’re a public figure or celebrity.

I must be becoming somewhat of a celebrity myself, because I have started to receive similar treatment. At House Church seminars I sometimes get sharp, almost rude questions. They often come from young people. At first I was baffled; why are these people so rude? But I’ve begun to realize that in their minds I am somewhat of a public figure, so they feel free to be extra critical of me, the way they might be toward a celebrity.

I have also started to receive criticism from people I don’t know regarding house churches. Most of it is unfounded and far from the truth. But it still hurts. Experiences like these sometimes make me wonder if it is worth doing what I’m doing, trying to spread the house church movement.

I personally have no desire to become well known. Fame means nothing to me. Despite this, I have become famous in certain Korean Christian circles because I happen to be the first person to have fully embraced the house church and succeeded.

I know I cannot quit this ministry no matter how much unfounded criticism bothers me. What I have to do is to focus on God’s rewards rather than on earthly criticism. Our Lord promised: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.” (Matt 5:11-12)

One big consolation for me is that our church’s members, the ones who know me best and what I’m about, love me and are proud of me. It is far better to be admired by the people who know you and criticized by the people you don’t than the other way around.

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