Focus on faith, not fame, Tappan tells Chapel
By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
There are lots of famous quotes about reputation, but it’s hard to find one that sums it up better than Proverbs 3:3-4:
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”
Dustin Tappan of Christ’s Church of the Valley used those two verses Monday morning to demonstrate to his Chapel audience at Grand Canyon University Arena the importance of putting God first in our lives and not trying to build a reputation through achievements, talent or appearance.
“If we are defined by what we achieve, if we’re defined by our talent or by our appearance, then we build a name in vain,” Tappan said.
While acknowledging that even talking about building a name for yourself doesn’t sound right for Christians, Tappan emphasized how easy it is to get off track.
“Your priority is always to put God before man, but have you ever rearranged those priorities? Have those ever been flipped around for you?” he said. “They get flipped around for me all the time.
“Almost on a daily basis, I have to be reminded that my first and foremost audience is Jesus. He’s the one that I’m living for, and He’s the one that I’m ultimately trying to please in this life, and He’s who I’m worshipping.”
Tappan pointed to two ancient kings of Israel, David and his son Solomon, as examples of that God-seeking spirit. Sure, they accomplished great things, but David was “a man after God’s own heart,” Tappan said, and Solomon, while known for his wisdom, “walked in God’s truth his whole life.”
Those two verses from Proverbs, in fact, were a bit of Solomon’s wisdom for his son, just as David had passed on advice to Solomon.
But we often don’t do the right thing, and Tappan put it in very human terms as he reviewed the events of his everyday life:
“On the basketball court, I can be a jerk. When I’m driving, I can be an idiot. With my family and my friends, I can be really selfish. With perfect strangers, I can be rude. But that’s not my desire, and I’m working on it. My heart’s desire is that Jesus is the only thing in my life.”
Tappan gave his listeners an assignment: Ask someone close to you, either a family member or a friend, a simple question: What does my name mean to you?
The answer, he said, should include your faith in God — and it shouldn’t be an afterthought.
“At the end of the day, more than our jobs, more than our career ambitions, more than the things that we want to be awesome at in this life, and I hope there’s a lot, I hope that we are worshipping and only placing in the center of our lives Jesus and Him crucified,” Tappan said. “Everything else can just be second — maybe even a distant second. …
“Don’t aim for fame, aim for faithfulness, because fame is so fleeting.”
- For a replay of Tappan’s talk, click here.
- Next Monday’s speaker will be Noe Garcia of North Phoenix Baptist Church.
Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.