Leading a quiet life and not seeking fame


That you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you. (1 Thessalonians 4:11)


There are two groups of people in this world:

The quiet workers — those who go about helping others without asking for recognition and wanting no awards or pats on the back for their work. 

Then there are others that make sure the media know about their work, get themselves on TV to share with the world their achievements and often make a lot of money as a result. They are also willing to expose their families as part of the package.

Both Sir Nicholas Winton and Irene Sendler did amazing works during World War Two but both choose to slide into anonymity once their work was done. They got on with their lives and asked for nothing in return. Both saved many many Jewish children during the war and asked for nothing. Their achievements only became known many years after the event thanks to others who discovered what they had done. Both were humble meek people who saw no need to glory or fame. These people are true  Christian heroes.

Whilst we are unlikely to ever do the great works as done by Winton and Sendler, the work we do each day looking after our families, bringing up children, taking care of our homes plus work we do at church, through charities and helping others should be done quietly and without the need or desire for pats on the back or awards.  This is our calling and we should ask for no reward in return. A family member (who has since passed away) was offered an award for her lifetime achievements, it wasn't any award it was one of Australia's top awards, she decline because she believed that what she had spent her life doing wasn't about winning awards it was about helping others as God had requested her to do— it was done for the Glory of God and God only. 

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 
(1 Corinthians 10:31)

We don’t bring up children or care for our homes for praise or fame (even if we are really good at it), they are done because they are the roles that God has given us to undertake. I do struggle with those families (and there are more than just the Duggars who are doing this) who have shared their families with the world — including filming daily life and exposing their children's to strangers. Bringing up children and being a parent is a private and precious affair and one that God takes very seriously — exposing our children and our roles as parents makes our families commercial enterprises (to be bought and sold) and one I doubt would look favourable to God. We weren't put in this earth to be celebrities or popular, to be idolised by starstruck fans, even Christian fans.

Did Jesus seek fame, no, He didn't and John 6 is a great example of this - after feeding the 5,000, healing the sick and performing other miracles - the gathering were excited (if this was today, camera crew would be there  and the the crowd would be in going crazy). They believed He was the One who would finally deliver them from the oppression of Roman rule. Jesus' fame was at its peak and the crowds were ready to crown Him king.

Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone. (John 6: 15)

Jesus never sort out fame, power or glory whilst on earth, instead Jesus' goal in everything He did was to seek the will of His Father "And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges." (John 8:50) 

Our goal in life should be the same, and whilst God might give some of us fame (no, not me!) to spread His Word (as we have seen through Elizabeth Elliot, Corrie Ten Boom, Elizabeth George or Joni Eareckson Tada), they need to remain humble before the Lord, meek and modest in their achievements and not splash their lives (and that of their families) all over news, popular magazine covers or doing regular TV interviews.  Those who are serving God in the public arena need to remain entirely focused on God and not get sidetracked about their families, who is getting married and the latest baby. We live in a society that yearns  shallow "news" and whilst it is exciting to see a wedding or baby - what makes it any different to the goings-on in Hollywood and other reality TV shows.

Any fame on this earth is fleeting and fragile (as it can all be lost in a moment) - all that we should want is to be knowing by Christ - heavenly fame with God - to be known by Him, loved and accepted, which of course we already are.

We need to quietly go about our business, love our neighbours, remain meek in our good works and not strive for exposure. There is only ONE we should be promoting and celebrating and that is God and His message. In the end that is all that matters.


 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. (1 Timothy 1-2)

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Comments

  1. I like your comments on this matter.

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    1. Thankyou - this is a topic that not everyone agrees with and when anyone does comment it is see as an attack or "anti- Christian" which is sad as no family should be held up as pure and perfect, we all fall and tumble, some worse than others and when in the public eye, the fall is greater.

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  2. This is so true. And, with the Scriptures as our example, it's easy to see that even the famous people of Bible times didn't have EVERY part of their life on display - the Word of God selects specific events to record in the lives of these notable people! Honestly, no one could pay me enough money to display my life or that of my children to the public as many people in this world do - my life and that of my children is priceless and precious and only between myself and the Lord; it's not for sale or hire!!! I realise that most of us like a bit of recognition here and there - our pride gets the better of us - but even during those shameful moments when my pride swells, I would hate the recognition to become public; I would much rather be a private person!

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    1. Like you, no amount of money would be enough to reveal my family to the world. I know some people say it is a great way to "promote" Christian lifestyles, but those families that end up in the limelight are not the typical family at all - they come across as so prefect that it must make ordinary families doubt their own homemaking and parenting. And that isn't healthy at all. And rarely do families sail along perfectly, we all have bumps and falls and as we have seen with the Duggars, it is a heavy price to pay when it all goes belly up.

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  3. I always thought the Duggars were a little odd to want to share their lives so openly. I am sorry to say that, but really, it isn't normal... I can't judge their motives, but it sure gives non-Christians much to snicker about when it is sown that Christians mess up. Oh dear, the Lord is not glorified by what has happened. As Christians we are aware that we all have failings, but when we consider that we are examples of HIM to the world, we have to be oh, so careful!
    love,
    Bets

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    1. Our home is personal and shouldn’t be exposed like this - would you want your little bunnies in front of a camera for all and sundry to watch them grew up and when older end on the front of People magazine. I doubt you would, nor would I. There are many ways to share the Christian message without this level of exposure - all those books we have read it just as well with perhaps less long term damage.

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  4. People like the Duggars, Bates, and certain bloggers, etc. are quite simply whoring out their children in a most disgusting fashion - under the ludicrous name of morality. That sounds ugly, but it IS ugly - they sell their children's childhood and privacy - something irredeemably precious and fleeting - for as much money as they can get. It is inexcusable. It's not ethical to sell drugs, or sex, but we can sell the lives of children for entertainment or "personal branding". That is sick.

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    1. Dear anonymous,

      Whilst I wouldn’t use the language you have - a little too strong for me, I do agree that any family that exposes their children so publicly are selling their “normal” childhood often without the consent of the young ones. They are only young once, they don’t need a camera following them about.

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  5. Well written! :) I agree with you....although I am not sure about how I feel about the Duggars, Bates etc. who have their lives on television. I have always seen it as a wonderful example for people and truly believe they are doing it, hoping to glorify God in it all. But I don't know their hearts. It does give food for thought though. A simple, quiet life is truly best....one lived all for God and *His* glory. :)

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    1. Katy - this is a very delicate topic and one I have thought about for a while and avoided writing anything as people are very touchy about it. Its as if no one can say anything about the Duggars as if they are on a pedal stool. They are human and I don’t think they have done things the right way. I think the Duggars could have done it differently so not to expose their children for so long and that is my biggest problem - but it is clear that they have remained on TV because the the TV company is making lots of money from it - no show remains this long unless its a commercial success. I understand their attraction - a Christian light in a non-Christian world, but joining the reality TV is the issue and one I struggle with as its not how I was brought up. Just my thoughts that not everyone will agree with :)

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  6. Wow, I am new to this blog and I have to say I find your opinions rather haughty. Weren't those pictures of your children being exposed to the whole wide world a few posts back.? Maybe if you took the time to really know the Duggar you would be less judgemental. I have personally been blessed by this family - especially Michelle. Normally I wouldn't disagree publicly but that is what you have requested on your side bar.

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    1. Karia,

      These are my personal views and its perfectly ok for you to have ones that disagree with mine (we live in a democracy) - I am happy to publish both views, I don’t want to be a blog where everyone simply agrees with me.Even Christians can have differently views.

      I have avoided posting photos of my children for a number of years - they are now adults and wouldn’t like it at all. I also avoid using their names and I don’t use mine either. I did post photos of my aunts (who have since died) but I didn’t provide names. I do try to be very careful so I can remain anonymous - I even avoid using my surname anywhere for the same reason. I don’t want fame for all the reasons I have listed.

      I am glad to hear that Michelle Duggar has been a blessing to you - however, she and her family would still be anonymous is they had a smaller family - the media love these sorts of stories and saw an opportunity too good to miss. They too are making lots of money from this long running series via advertising. I do believe that Mr and Mrs Duggar could have shared her message on parenting, families and marriage without her children being exposed so widely. I don’t wish to be judgemental - I just strongly believe that this isn’t the right thing to do as a Christian and I know that I am not alone on this but many blog readers are too afraid to write comments as they are seen as “anti-Christian”.

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  7. Great post! Thanks for sharing on The Art of Home Making Mondays

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  8. I wondered if I was being too sensitive feeling this way. Thank-you for bringing this out in the open.I can't imagine having cameras in my home daily and with children in it- No Way .Let them be children and have a normal childhood.
    Linda

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    1. Linda - this is a very sensitive topic and one that some people have very strong views about - some bloggers simply won't publish anything that is considered "anti". As far as I am concerned, no child should be placed in front of a camera for so long - it isn't a healthy environment to grow up in and it will be too late if any long term damage is done. And I couldn't imagine exposing myself to that sort of scrutiny either. Having a camera in your home means you are really living a "story" that will be shared, it would be impossible to be truly yourself even if you tried - you become a "brand" and that is what makes you stand out in the crowd - its a false reality. My thoughts anyway - not everyone will agree.

      Blessings

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  9. You have broached a very difficult subject in a great way. I agree that putting yourself in the limelight and making money off it too was just a setup for a disaster. I pray that the Lord can turn things around for them, and allow this to make their family stronger, and not rip them apart. But most importantly, that a lesson be learned by all... reality tv and all it involves has no place for Christians. I agree with your premise that our desire to do good should never be first to do it so we can find limelight or $$ for our work. Wonderful post :)

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    1. Thankyou :) it is a topic that is controversial and causes strong feelings among people and one that I have thought a lot about recently. The TV station has only been running the show for this long because it sells and makes them lots of money, they don't do it out of charity or for good Christian values - you only need to see what other programs they run to see that. I think this is the time for the family to quietly move out of the limelight and let their family and extended family grow without cameras.

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  10. It is not quite clear if you are speaking of the Duggars directly or just the general idea of "boasting" in public. I think that we are very quick to knock down what we once held up. I am not speaking directly of any one person, just in general about this world we live in. Child abuse and molestation is a terrible and very, very sad thing....not to mention criminal. It seems as if things should be a bit more private for this family especially for the sake of the victims.

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    1. I was being general, but that wasn't how most of my readers saw what I wrote. The more private we are as families the less troubles when things go sadly wrong. Whilst I think it is important to build up other Christians (and I hope I do), I think those who promote themselves and their families the more danger they are putting themselves in. Its a very delicate topic sadly that people have very strong views on - I just think we should only promote God and not our children.

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  11. I believe the Duggars are a beautiful Christian example for the world to see honestly. I'm a pastor's wife with four kids and they have encouraged me through emails, etc. Please build up Christians rather than tear down...it diminishes the very thing I think you want to do. Why do you have a public blog? I assume it's to encourage others who watch your life on here? It's the same with the duggars. How dare any of us put them down, it makes me sick...they are a lovely family who is the real deal. I do hope you use your platform to build up others. Take care,
    Shawna

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    1. I wasn’t speaking specifically about the Duggars in my post – it was a general view on Christians seeking or finding themselves in a position where fame has found them. All Christian should be very careful about becoming famous and whilst Mr and Mrs Duggar can choose to write books about parenting and marriage and spread the gospel, I think involving their entire family daily lives is quite a different story entirely. I am glad you have found the Duggars a blessing and I am sure many people have – but that shouldn’t be a reason for not critically looking at fame and the cost it has on those who find it and questioning the motives of the TV company who have made many $$$ as a result of this family.

      Whilst others believe they are doing right, doesn’t mean I can’t disagree with them and it’s sad that you have felt “sick” by me expressing my personal opinion. This is a democracy and that allows me to express my views and isn’t that what we all want (to live in free nations), to be able to express our views without offending anyone. I don’t think I offended the Duggars by expressing my views. Sadly many bloggers and those who comment feel like they can’t say anything as if this is sacred ground and it isn’t. It’s important to not place anyone on a pedestal including the Duggars. I am sure they themselves would agree with this. Your views are different to mine and I welcome them for the reasons I mention above.

      As for myself - I rarely ever mention my now grown children, certainly not their names (never their surnames) and I never mention my husband on my blog. I haven’t put up a photo of my husband as far as I can remember and rarely my children. The most posted member of my family is my cat. I do not seek fame and would never expose my family as a consequence if it came my way. Nor do I confess to be perfect and my family most certainly isn’t – we have had our struggles and difficulties like all families.

      I grew up in a wonderful Christian family in an idyllic setting in country Australia. There is no way that my family would have ever wanted us children to be exposed to the world through the camera, even if they were wonderful examples of Christian parents — which they were – very much the real deal.

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    2. I did not mean to hurt your feelings, but simply show the other side...I believe Christians should build up other believers rather than attack them. My husband has been a pastor over 10 years and our family has been attacked through the years as all our friends in ministry have been, but the worst part about it is that it's from other "Christians"...it should not be this way. Death and life are in the power of the tongue and we must be careful, it really can destroy lives, it has ours. Opinions are part of being an American, but loving words are part of being a Christian. I love defending others who serve Christ and hope you do understand the true intent. Blessings to you and your ministry here.

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    3. I have found photos of all your family members on your blog. Your children have been shown not only when they were young, but we have seen them as adults. Just goes to show that even when we think we are being careful, we sometimes slip up. What about other people's photos on your blog...do you ask their permission first?

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    4. I am wondering why Anonymous is so keen to cause strife and contention and be rude?? This blog is owned by my cousin and she has posted photos of myself, my husband and my children - and she absolutely has my permission to do so because she is very discrete and careful. While she has no problem with having comments on her posts that don't agree with her, I as her reader am feeling that Anonymous is trying to stir up trouble, and I don't appreciate it. There are enough wars and strifes in this world without these kinds of negative comments coming up on joyful, wholesome blogs I enjoy reading. Please be kind and stop trying to cause trouble, for the sake of the Lord, if not for the sake of my cousin, who is a gentlewoman, a lady, and who is kind, generous and a precious sister in Christ who works hard to serve the Lord in this community by writing the truth in love. Thank you.

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    5. Thankyou Clara :)) it was never my intention to cause distress or upset to anyone. I don't enjoy conflict, just sharing God's Word and as you wrote the truth. In Gods precious love. xxx

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  12. Wow you certainly opened a bit of a hornets nest but I think we really need to think about what we are doing and why. I really didn't think you were only having a go at the Duggers and I believe that all parents should take care of how they hold themselves and their families. Thank you so much for sharing this with us at Good Morning Mondays. I truly believe that we shouldn't judge, because we are all sinners but we should learn from the mistakes others make. Blessings

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    1. Some Terri, I couldn't help myself!!

      I did want to write something balanced and something that I and a few others have had conversations about. I didn't want to offend anyone but on this topic (which some thing is too precious) I am sure I did. Most parents (me especailly) muddle through parenting the best we can and pray on our knees for guidances from God that we are doing the right thing. Sometimes things don’t turn out the way we want them too and I think the Duggars are in that space right now, however with cameras on them, it must be much harder to deal with.

      Have a wonderful weekend, hope it isn’t too cold where you are as its pretty cold where I am!!

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  13. I have always preferred doing things for the greater good, rather than doing it for recognition! Thank you for sharing this at the #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup!

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    1. I completely agree with you - one doesn't need to be in the spotlight to do great good :)

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