I couldn’t help but notice all last night and today that a certain Miley Cyrus was trending. I’ve read multiple statuses (statusi? statusees?), tweets, and blogposts about the apparently mind-blowing/horrifying/raunchy performance by Miley Cyrus on the VMAs. I didn’t see it, still haven’t, and probably won’t (even though I feel like I already have what with the vivid descriptions of many a blogger).
I’ve heard a lot about the disgrace of a role-model gone wrong and what a disappointment she is to all the girls who may or may not look to her as an example. I don’t really have much commentary to add about her – I’ve never met her and don’t really follow her career so I wouldn’t have much to say.
The only thing I want to say is this: Miley Cyrus is not the only one who has a stage and audience. Everyone has a stage. Everyone has an audience. Leadership can most simply be defined as influence – and every person who has ever walked this earth influences others.
I think about the millions of people who watched that performance. I will never have millions of people watching me – I can’t sing, dance, act, juggle knives, eat fire, or do anything that the world would deem noteworthy. By the time I finish my life, most people on the earth won’t even know that I existed.
But then I think about the people that DO watch me. The people I encounter at the office every day. At the store. At the gas station. At church. At a restaurant. I think about the relationships I’ve formed and the relationships I hope to have with my children someday.
I can’t control what a pop star thousands of miles away does. But I can control my own actions and the way I choose to love other people.
1 Peter 3:3,4 says, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
This scripture, in context, is speaking specifically to wives with unbelieving husbands. But I believe the same principal applies to all women – single, married, old or young. This is not a passage that condemns braids and jewelry (if that’s the case, I have a lot of repenting to do…); but rather, it’s speaking to the immeasurable worth of a woman who carries herself with confidence that has nothing to do with the external and everything to do with the internal.
Everyone has a stage. And everyone has an audience. A woman who rests in Christ and finds her sufficiency in Christ will always point her audience’s eyes heavenward, to the only One worth looking to, the only One worth worshiping.
In my own life, I have a stage. An audience. And I couldn’t help but ask myself today – In what ways do I promote myself? How am I trying to put the spotlight on me? How am I seeking fulfillment in things other than Christ? God forgive me for ever drawing attention to myself rather than drawing attention to Him.
So while I can and should mourn and pray over the lost innocence and endless wandering of Miley Cyrus and others like her, I never want to use my pointing finger as a mask for my own self-glorification and self-promoting actions.
My prayer is that all women who claim to follow Christ would seek to live with integrity and to possess the “unfading beauty” that cannot be shaken by fame, trends, or public opinion.
Everyone has a stage. And everyone has an audience.
He must become greater. I must become less.
“If anyone is watching me, I want to make it count for something.” chl