Working in entertainment management, one of the requests fielded fairly often regarding artists is people wanting “backstage passes.” It’s amazing how folks will work hard to prove some distant connection to an artist, hoping the evidence is awarded with a backstage pass. It’s kind of a one-night Golden Ticket, as if to communicate to all the “little people” out there that—at least for tonight—I am a significant somebody. And I have the pass to prove it.
But, let’s face it, because most of us aren’t Bono or Kim K, if we are allowed to be backstage at any show, then the actual significance really isn’t us, is it? It’s the pass. The guy at the door doesn’t care what you look like, what your name is, or how cool (or uncool) you are, he just wants to see “the pass.” Got the pass? Step right in. No pass? Heck outta Dodge—now.
You get the concept, so here’s two things for us to consider:
First, what “pass” do you use to try and get through the doors in your life every day? Is your pass your career? Your reputation? Your title? Your past? Money? Car? House? Stuff? What is it?
As guys, we flash a pass a lot, in many different situations, hoping to get in. If one doesn’t work, try another. The pass may change according to the room we’re in, but it’s still about the pass. We act a certain way or throw out info about ourselves, so people will let us in, and then we can feel significant. Just like backstage. We work hard every day in so many people’s lives as if to say, “I’m not like all the other people in your life, am I? I’m special. Worthy. I’m in your inner circle, right?”
Here’s our second consideration. You have a backstage in your own heart. You have a place where you only allow, what you deem to be, significant people. What does it take for someone to have a backstage pass into you? What do they have to flash for you to let them in? We’ve all got the criteria we put up to accept people. The pass into us.
So, where are you flashing a pass of what you do, or what you have, or who you know, to other people to prove your significance, your value? And then, what pass do you require for someone to truly see who you are?
Since Jesus is our Example and Role Model, let’s look at His life. What pass did He flash to people to be accepted? What pass did people have to flash for Jesus to let them in? In short, He had one pass—God, His Father. He always pointed to the Father. The pass He requires? Faith.
A key marker in Christian maturity is accepting our identity in Christ as our only identity—which means we no longer have anything to prove. Why? Because God the Father has accepted us—fully. We are so backstage! Funny thing too, when we accept our significance in Him, then we also lighten up on our standards for everyone else.
God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love. We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first. . . . The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both. —1 John 4:17-19, 21 MSG