Needing A Celebrities Stamp of Approval

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

I was 11 years old, it was March and the Nickelodeon Teen Choice Award show was on (I was a sucker for award shows). At the end of the show they would always “slime” an actor or a musician, this year they decided to slime Shawn P Diddy Puff Daddy Combs. As he excepted his award for doing something, he said one thing that has stuck with me until today, “I would like to thank God for this award.” At that moment I realized that Puff Daddy was a christian and I was a christian, Puff Daddy is cool therefore I am cool. From that moment on I would start to look for the “cool” christians that would give validation to my beliefs.

Pretty crazy that I would need a celebrity to tell me that christianity was cool and even a life worth living, but I needed to hear this. Maybe because others followed what celebrities said and like what they did, or maybe it was because 96% of the time it was not cool to be a christian. Whatever it was, I got my validation from celebrities.

Fast forward to 2010 and the same thing is happening, only a little bit more covert. Today we mask this by looking for the approval of celebrities in what we are doing. I am not a 11-year-old boy anymore, I am a 24-year-old guy that now hopes most celebrities are not christians (see Mel Gibson) and instead looks for celebrities stamp of approval. Well, semi celebrities, more like christian world celebrities. Nothing like getting a big name christian speaker, blogger, or musician to stamp their word of approval on you with a tweet, video endorsement or even a post about what you are doing. For some reason the gatekeeper that is the christian celebrity holds the keys to validating a movement or an idea.

Don’t believe me? Go and check out any blog that has had a small amount of success (maybe one big post or wrote a review of someones book) and did not mention “insert big name christian” here in their tweet or replied to their comment in the comment stream. Listen, I am not complaining about this. I have done this as well. Part of the way that I spread the word about scarletcordm.com and prayer for prostitutes was that I got the “christian celebrities” to tweet about it, even Max Lucado tweeted it out. The blog went from getting about 14 views a day to over 1000. But it was almost like I (we) need that stamp of approval to say what we are doing is right. And I see this all the time with people who are looking to get to be friends with “big name blogger a” and “big name author b” because it could make the next “big name whatever”

Even though I have progressed 15 years since Puff Daddy told me I was cool,
I still am looking to be on the in-crowd of celebrity christians. Why? Maybe because I want to be a celebrity christian? maybe, maybe not. Or maybe it is because people have given those celebrity christians approval and validation and I/we are looking for people’s approval and validation.

Whatever happened to finding approval in the Lord?

We might have a validation problem that needs to be flipped on its head.

*kyle

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Kyle Reed

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I create websites, conversations, and ideas. Advocate for the 20 somethings. Looking to connect everyone to a mentor. Married to my best friend, Ginny. I like my coffee black and my dog Jack. I currently live in Nashville and work at Sony Music/Provident in Nashville
  • http://www.kevindeshazo.me kevin

    guilty

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      You’re not alone my friend

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  • http://theperkinsblog.net Michael

    Validation is a weakness/sin of mine. I truly think that it first started when I was younger playing sports. I wanted to play pro-baseball and when scouts came to watch me, I desperately wanted to impress them. This need for their approval has spilled into other aspects of my life.

    As a young guy in ministry, I have tried to get validation from my peers by being who they wanted, instead of being who God wanted.

    As a blogger, I’m guilty of it as well. I want to encourage. I want to help people grow. But I don’t want them to think I’m an idiot. Any rate, you’re not alone on this.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      We are the exact same person I think.
      I was the same way as a kid…wanting to play pro baseball and doing everything to impress those around me.

      Now, I struggle with the validation thing because I go off of what others are saying. If I can get positive feedback then I know I am doing something right, but if I get no response at all I try and figure out how to get a response. Validation is huge for me, and when I do not get it I tend to shut down.

      • http://theperkinsblog.net Michael

        Shutting down yes…

        My wife says it’s called pouting.

        I don’t necessarily try to figure out how to get a response, but I definitely question myself. I ask, “Was this a waste of time?” or I’ll say, “I guess it was just encouraging or funny to me.”
        I think I may be the slightly older version of you bro.

        • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

          ha, well I wasn’t going to say it :)

  • http://tfkroberts.wordpress.com Tim

    Hey Man: Great post. I think you hit the nail on the head. Its not just from true Celebraties, but we want to be validated by our bosses, friends, those in our church, and by our family.

    We so often forget that the only validation that matters is from Above, Its God’s opinion only that matters.

    We need to remember the sacrifice that He made to show that He loves us.

    Its hard to keep this perspective, I fail at it by the minute, but is something I strive for. It doesn’t matter what any boss, friend thinks of us, it only matters what God thinks of us and who we are……

    Thanks for the encouragement bro!
    ~Tim

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      Exactly right Tim.
      I learned that the hard way in regards to my worry about what others thought of me. It took a while to learn that lesson and am still working on it really.
      Thanks for the perspective.

  • http://www.mohan37.com mo

    Deep thoughts man. I plug my blog pretty hard sometimes,then wonder why I’m doing it. My hope is to start good conversations, especially between people in my own church. But sometimes it just becomes a game of page hits. Hmmm.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      true that, i do the same

  • http://manofdepravity.com Tyler

    I think what has helped me with my struggle in this, has been to actually spend time with these Christian “celebrities.” They are real people. Hurts, struggles, etc. None different than me. They are just being used by God differently than me. When I came to see them no different than my neighbor, I didn’t care to find validation from them.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      exactly, totally agree. It took me a while to see that. I would say a big time of seeing this was at catalyst last year and then over the last 4 months I have realized this. I still think though there is a validation part that takes place. Maybe not necessarily from us, but more from the public perspective. Almost like if you write a book and do not have the right endorsements then it cannot be a good book.

  • http://felizadriana.wordpress.com Adriana Féliz

    Relying on others to get validated is setting yourself up to failure. It’s not healthy and it does become “a game of page hits” (like someone above said). I recently saw a short film called Validation(http://vimeo.com/2485018)and it made me realize that we also play a part in validating others. Reality is, opinion matter to us and our opinions matter to others; as little as we can do to validate others is a lot.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      I will check that out. Thanks for the link
      and yes, validation does matter to all.

  • http://www.nicolewick.com @nicolewick

    The “Christian Celebrity” thing tends to irritate me. Like, a lot. Especially the Celeb Pastor thing. AmI the on;y one?

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      no, I do not think you are alone.