I didn't watch the Academy Awards last Sunday evening. Although I didn't see this year's awards show, I don't think I missed anything. So, I decided to spend my time being inspired rather than repulsed. I watched the life story of Billy Graham instead. I have seen the Oscars before, but I'm so glad that I watched the story of a servant of God. It was inspiring. And the Academy Awards? Well, the news reports the next day seemed to paint an uninspiring picture. The contrast between the choice of watching a story of gospel or glamour was powerful to me.
One recognized self- achievement; the other selfless service.
One said, "We have the answer;" the other said, "The Bible says..."
One sought to raise eyebrows; the other sought to bow heads in prayer.
One wanted to make news; the other offered good news.
One ridiculed the President; the other prayed with Presidents.
One recognized acting as the crowning achievement of life; the other acted in a way that brought the reward of the crown of life.
One was a competition for an earthly prize; the other led crusades that offered a prize beyond this earth.
One honored worldly values; the other taught heavenly values.
One used the camera to be creative; the other used the camera to point to the Creator.
One embraced the desires of this world; the other challenged us to repent from worldly desires.
One challenged the audience to "have it their way;" the other challenged the audience to follow "The Way."
One acknowledged the impact of Hollywood around the world; the other simply impacted the world with the message of Christ.
One gave out crowns that will not last; the other received a crown that will last forever.
One was all about glamour and glitz; the other was about humility and service.
One talked about love; the other actually demonstrated love.
1 John 2:15 offers some cautionary words: "Do not love the world, or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them." (NIV)
We are constantly being tempted to love the things of the world. Yes, we live in the world, but we don't have to be trapped by the world. It's a challenge, however. Every day, we must choose what is most important and of greatest value. It's humbling to realize how isolated we become from our Heavenly Father when we are too attached to this world. The Academy Awards always promote earthly values, whereas Billy Graham spent his long life offering the value of eternal life through Christ. So, I ask you. Which has changed lives for the better?
I close with The Message paraphrase of 1 John 2:15. It speaks volumes.
"Don't love the world's ways. Don't love the world's goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world - wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important - has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from Him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out - but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity."
I want to be set for eternity. That security belongs to those who do what God wants. After all, we as believers are called to be world changers, not world chasers!