I find this whole phenomenon rather puzzling. Just because you know “important” people doesn’t change who you are one iota. I had lunch several times with a former cabinet member of the Bush administration but knowing him did not change my status anywhere. It did not make me a different person than what I already was. To think that “knowing people” will increase your intrinsic value or stature is a deception.
Additionally, I find that people’s definition of “knowing someone” varies. For some people knowing someone means that they had a 10 minute conversation on the street with them once or worse yet, that they saw someone prominent walking down the street. I chatted with the Penn State Ladies basketball coach while standing in the checkout line one day. That doesn’t mean I know her and even more certainly I can guarantee that she does not feel that she “knows” me. She probably wouldn’t even remember that she talked to me at all.
I started thinking about this because a young man at my work won some tickets to a Penn State hockey game. Up until last year, Penn State hockey was a club and supported solely by a booster club whose members are very well known for their wealth and power in the country. Anyway, these tickets were REALLY GOOD tickets! Another person was going on and on about how sitting in that section would be advantageous for him because he would meet a lot of important people and be seen with people he should be seen with. I found that so shallow, I almost wanted to puke. Since when is one person more important than another? Is there any soul on which God places more value than another? Then I saw this photo and thought, this is right on. I think Jesus put it this way in Luke:
7 And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them,8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, 9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place. 10 But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Mt. 23:12:Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.
Not only do I find name dropping puzzling, I genuinely pity anyone who feels they need to do it. Granted, occasionally dropping a name can get you access to things, but it should only be if the person whose name you are dropping approved of you doing it beforehand. Seriously, earn what you have and on your own merit, not someone elses. Name dropping creates the facade that you’re something you are not. It sets you up for a fall because when people find out that you’re not all you present yourself as, they will be brutal. Having to live under that pressure to be someone you’re not or think that you are nothing until you are recognized by another human being would be an awful way to live. And sadly, your reward is only what attention you get on earth which in the end, will mean absolutely nothing.
Name droppers are often do gooders too. They join prominent charities, not so much for what the charity stands for but for who else belongs to the charity that they would like to rub shoulders with. I’m so glad that my life and associations are God directed. If I’m to be famous, it will come in God’s way and in His time. I’d rather be famous in heaven than on earth anyway. Those who quietly serve the Lord by ministering to the unlovely will be rock stars in heaven.
What’s funny is, that with all the name dropping going on, when you mention that you know God, people are completely unimpressed! What’s with that???? They even think you are weird or craaaaaazy! What person could you possibly know that is more important?
They may know the president of the university, our left-wing, liberal mayor, or the owner of a successful business but I know the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the creator and sustainer of the universe, the one who tells the sun to rise every day and it does, the one who is aware of every bird that falls to the ground and every hair that falls of their heads. In fact, I not only know Him, we’re related! He’s adopted me! Now that’s important! That’s a name you would think everyone would want to be associated with, but sadly, it’s not.
As Christians, we are called to be ambassadors. We are to reflect, mirror and mimic the one we represent. As we behold Him more and more, we become like Him and make His name known. I guess that in a way, we are to be “dropping God’s name” in a lost world. But actions truly do speak louder than words, so the first thing they need to see is Christ in action. The man healed by Jesus on the sabbath didn’t even know who had healed him but I can bet that after he found out who Jesus was, he talked of him to anyone and everyone that would listen. Being with Jesus has an effect on people.
Acts 4:13 says “now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.”
I often examine my life and wonder, do sinners see that I’m different in the way I live my life, in the way I express myself, and in the way I react to and interact with them? Do they know that I am different because of Christ or do they just think I’m a nice, laid back,funny, “good” person? They must see Christ! If they don’t, then I need to see more of Him so that they can see Him?
When Moses was in the presence of God, his face shone so brightly he had to cover it with a veil. People need to see that we have been the presence of Jesus and they will only see that as we spend time in the presence of Christ and let His presence change us. As He changes us, we reflect Him and a lost world can be changed too.