Repressing Our Inner Gaga

I readily confess that in my waning years I seem to have grown woefully out of touch with current music trends and what is popular on most Top Ten lists.  As such, I am aware of, but not familiar with or a fan of Lady Gaga or her music (assuming it is that).  All I know about her is what I pick up through news and the few occasions I have had the displeasure of seeing her perform on TV.  I did note with interest last week, however, her appearance at a New York Mets baseball game  (being more a fan of baseball than Gaga).  It seems she showed up and caused quite the row, dressed in a short leather jacket and tiny studded bikini.  Then when she was noticed by news media and fans (as if that were not her intent) she demanded to be taken to Jerry Seifeld’s private box suite, and from there further made a spectatcle of herself by making obscene gestures (the finger) at fans and media.  In an unrelated event weeks before, Gaga attended the graduation of her little sister clothed in a large brimmed black hat, veil with a nude body suit beneath.  Both incidents sadly speak to someone so self-absorbed that she would even refuse to allow her own sister to be the center of attention on a day which should rightfully be honoring to her and her accomplishments.

As I considered the behavior of this woman, reveling as much as possible in her “fifteen minutes of fame,” my mind was drawn to my own inner Gaga, seeking attention for my self that is not and should be rightfully my own.  As I paused in this painfully reflective moment the words of John the Baptist came flowing back to my remembrance, “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” (John 3:30 NLT)  My executive pastor, Daryl Strickland recently had this permanently tattoed to each of his arms: “Less of me” on one arm, and “More of Him” on the other.  Apparently this is hardly what is predominantly on the mind of Lady Gaga, or very many of us I fear.  All too often our attitude reflects, “I must increase, no matter how much everybody else has to descrease.”

We even bring our Gaga mindset to church with us on Sunday morning.  In fact, this is probably when our self indulgence is most prominently on display.  What is most usually on my mind when I go to church?  “Is what I’m wearing this morning the most fashionable and hip?”  “I hope he/she doesn’t speak to me today.”  “Did the worship band play good enough to get me pumped up and entertain me today?”  “Did what pastor preached speak to me and meet my needs?”  “Did I get fed today?”  “I hope he doesn’t preach too long.  I want to be first in line at Golden Corral”  “I hope pastor saw me working on the ‘[fill in the blank] Team’ today.”

As followers of Jesus, at church on Sunday and every day, are we showing up at God’s event wearing our own equivalent of a big black hat and nude body suit saying, “Hey everybody!  Look at me!”  Or, is the first thing on my mind as I awake on Sunday and every day, “I get to go to church…..I get to meet with God…..I get to serve Him…..I get to please Him….I get to introduce Him to someone….anyone today.”  

Here’s little exercise for us to try.  See if we can wrap our Gaga attitude around this:

Philippians 2:3-11 (New Living Translation)

 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.  You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.  Though he was God,
      he did not think of equality with God
      as something to cling to.
 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
      he took the humble position of a slave
      and was born as a human being.
   When he appeared in human form,

he humbled himself in obedience to God
      and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
      and gave him the name above all other names,
 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
      in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
      to the glory of God the Father.


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