I’ve been signing a lot of books lately.

It’s bizarre. But an unavoidable part of my new author path, apparently.

Jesus reminds me of some of the wisdom he passed on to his buddy John in the form of a question: “How can you believe if you accept praise from men, but make no effort to obtain the praise from the only God?”

Good question: Where am I looking for praise and affirmation? WHen it comes from people in spades, it’s tempting to keep looking there. It feels good. I feel important. Or more so, at least.

But what makes me important? Books? Popularity? Signatures? A following? I’m watching a TV program right now about how hard it is to be a hollywood celebrity. Is that where importance lies. No. It’s found in none of these.

I’m important because God says so. Because he loves me. Because he’s invested enormous grace and patience in my calling — handing me three stellar kids, a princess wife, a group of neighbors in need, a church I can have a small hand in shaping for his glory.

Being a pastor is interesting, to say the least. People look to you for spiritual direction. For a stellar example of what a Christian can and should be. And they try to hoist you up on a pedestal. Even though I’m just a regular guy. VERY regular!

Pedestals come, pedestals go. I’ve said this before, but I can not, I must not, ever, help people build those pedestals. In fact, I should be helping folks deconstruct ’em, brick by brick. I don’t need pedestals. I need fellowship.

Reminds me of another quote, this one by Erwin McManus: “Absolute power does not corrupt absolutely; it reveals absolutely.” In other words, when you’re granted fame or power, it draws out what’s already in your heart. You can’t hide it.

So I guess I may be finding out what I’m really made of. I hope I already know. Jesus, give me grace!