October 6, 2013

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All of us desire to be known.

God has created us with a desire to receive approval. It begins with our parents, and transfers over time to our spouse, our boss, our community, and those we impact.

We spent an immense amount of time and energy increasing our ability to be known. Even success does not fully satisfy us. We want more!   Self absorption and self promotion quickly set in.

A desire for success is not a bad thing, but how do we keep things in perspective?

I recently attended the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.  The theme was Known: Identity, Calling, and Legacy.

Andy Stanley opened up with a message entitled: “Known Survivor: Surviving your Appetite to be Known.” Much of this post is taken from this incredible message.

He pointed out that we all seek this in our lives. In the end, if our approval comes from the applause, “no amount of known will satisfy our desire to be known. There is a little Lady Gaga in us all! 

Andy gave three laws of the applause:

1. What is exceptional becomes expected. Once you grow to a certain size or sell so many books, it’s now the benchmark.

2. Intoxicating – those who get the most applause feel the most entitled

3. Addictive – we begin to manufacture it. (if you could just tweet about this post, that would be great…) Can I get an Amen?

The challenge comes when you realize in order to lead, you must be known. How do we keep the exposure we have from ruining us? 

Andy shared the story of John the Baptist in Scripture. John went from being “the guy” to fading into oblivion, and eventually losing his head! He had the fame, the crowds, and the influence. But, John knew that being known can only come from the gifting and opportunities God gives.

When things decline we often try to fix it. John was at peace with the switch of emphasis  to Jesus  because he knew it came from God.

Surviving is to remember who it’s from and who it’s for.

Andy concluded with, “Work hard and leverage your talents but remember who it is from and who it is for. Listen for the applause of heaven, not earth. That is from the one who knows you best. Then, we will be known survivors; survivors of known.”

Ultimately, we must focus on being known by the one who knows us best. This is where our identity must come from.

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God