3 Things I Learned from Shawn Mendes About Success, Fame, and Jesus

When I little, I remember going to a museum and being enthralled by the stories of important heroes that lined the exhibits. “What do you have to do for a museum to hang your photo on the wall?” I asked my mom.

“You have to be famous or do something significant.” She replied.

I remember thinking, “I want to be famous. I want a museum to hang my photo on the wall.”

I don’t think I’m the only one who has been tempted by fame. The Celebrity life looks fun, flashy, and significant. Celebrities hold real power with just one tweet, everyone knows their name long after they’re gone, and they have financial security I will never comprehend. I wonder what that is like.

But as I’ve gotten older, I don’t care to be famous. That’s not what I want out of life. What I do desperately desire though is a life that is successful.

It’s easy for me to get wrapped up in the wrong idea of success. I live in Nashville where the hustle is real. Everyone is networking all the time and trying to get ahead. Life feels like a competition and success is always right around the corner, if you know the right people. Success is driving a nice car, getting signed to a record label, and having a lot of zeros on your paycheck.

Shawn Mendes found success when his single “Stitches” went number 1 back in 2015 before he was 18 years old. I can’t imagine what it’s like to experience that amount of fame at that young of an age.

Ever since, he’s been cranking out pop hits and success seems to follow him wherever he goes.

But this week on Twitter, Shawn Mendes shared just how disillusioned he really is in life despite all of his fame and success:

Worldly success doesn’t equal happiness

To some extent, I can relate. I suffer from the “grass is always greener mentality”. I’d be happier if I made more money, or if I was better at my job, or if I owned a house with a two car garage.

The truth is though, none of those things guarantees happiness or security. If someone like Shawn Mendes, who has money, fame, and a catalog of hits can feel like a failure, then why do I continue to think those things are the answer when they’re not.

The truth is even with so much success I still find it hard to feel like I’m not failing. – Shawn Mendes

There’s a quote by Jim Carry that says, “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”

I need to remind myself of this. Success is not found in accomplishments and things.

Humans weren’t made to be famous

I don’t believe God created humans to be famous. He created us to worship and to be in awe of Him.

Power, greed, and fame can wreck havoc on our feeble and selfish minds. I’ve seen it time and time again. So many celebrities crumble under the power of fame because God did not create us to be mini gods. That’s what fame does. It turns us into mini gods that people obsess over, and it’s unhealthy.

Empty fame will only lead to exhaustion, stress, and chaos.

The truth is I’m overwhelmed and overstimulated. – Shawn Mendes

Instead, we are called to make Jesus famous. We should be more concerned about making His name great rather than how many instagram followers we have.

True success is found in Jesus

In Jesus, there is true joy and true success. One of my favorite John Piper quotes is, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”

This means we experience the most joy and the most satisfaction when we are delighting in and following God’s will. All other earthly measurements of success doesn’t matter. Thank God, because the Nashville hustle lifestyle is just not for me.

When I start to compare myself to others, which happens a lot, I remind myself to take a step back and put Jesus first.

I pray Shawn Mendes will discover the true joy, hope, and rest, that is only found in Jesus. Because no amount of awards or recognition will ever lead to true strength and joy.

If you struggle with finding satisfaction, hope, and joy in life, I want to encourage you to cling to Jesus. Help make his name great, and put Him first in your life. I promise you it will change your perspective and your life.

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