We’ve heard it so often before. Where we categorize the talents and status of others based on another human.

Beyonce has become as much an adjective as she is a noun.

We keep up with the Kardashians and benchmark others off of them… and there are so many of them.

No one can enjoy home renovation projects or be talented at interior decorating or homemaking without being compared to Joanna Gaines.

Athletes, actors, influencers, speakers, writers, newscasters… anyone in the public light that holds any type of celebrity level is subjected to this “naming and claiming” characteristics or status for others.

The sad thing is, this isn’t just an American problem. It’s a Christian problem too. Culture is pervasive in all areas of life and we are seeing this just as real in our Christian communities.

Is someone an articulate writer of theology and Gospel truth? We tell them they are the next Tim Keller. Powerful speaker and writer to an audience of women? She’s the next Beth Moore. Encouraging influencer on social webs? Pick the top influencer in your minds and circles and we’ll throw their name out there too.

Yes, it is all meant as a compliment to those strong and influential people that the Lord has blessed with extraordinary talents and wisdom in His Name. But we do this in negative terms as well.

I recently read a comment from a fellow believer on a Facebook post that read: “To me, she is just another Jen Hatmaker.” The comment was not meant to be a flattering comparison. Reading those words, I was greatly saddened. Because whether you agree with Jen Hatmaker’s theology, platform or personhood, she is someone that Jesus Christ died on the cross for. And using her as a standard with which to categorize another major influencer who’s theology is questionable is heartbreaking.

When did we become a community who slandered, grouped and degraded others?

For the record, I have loved some of Jen Hatmaker’s books and podcasts. Others of her’s have not been my jam. I do think she is funny, likable and a wizard with words. I do not, however, agree completely with her platform or her theology. But she, just as I am, is a daughter of the Lord Most High and it is so not our responsibility to condemn her. We can choose not to fill our minds with her content. We can lovingly discourse and encourage those around us to seek God’s wisdom and test her words against God’s Truth. And we can, and most certainly should pray for her.

“But test everything; hold fast what is good.” -1 Thessalonians 5:21

We all fall short of the glory of God. We will all get it wrong and desperately need forgiveness, redemption, and grace. Some have louder platforms than others. Bless their hearts. Truly. We should pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who have large followings. They have a high and holy call to be preachers of the Good News. They, just as us, will be under attack from an enemy who is alive and well in this world.

Just because they have “celebrity status” does not mean we now have permission to cast our stones, friends. I’m choosing to take God at His Word when He claims His sovereignty and that it is not our place to cast judgment but to pray.

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