Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The X Factor

© X factor and Fox
"You don't have to necessarily have the best voice. You may not be the best looking person, but there is something about you that makes you a star." Simon Cowell

Goodbye, American Idol, and, hello, X Factor USA. This is a show open to all and won by one. As Simon said, it does not necessarily measure a person by their talent but by their inherent "it" factor that could make the next Lady Gaga or Jay- Z. 

I wasn't a fan of American Idol, but I love the X Factor. Why? Maybe I connect with these artists who work thankless jobs so that they can provide for their family but still have a small piece of time to display their talent. Maybe I understand desiring something more or believing in a person's ability to achieve a dream, no matter how far-fetched. Regardless, I cry as they are eliminated and cheer when they are pushed through.

Last night as I watched the eliminations, I noticed a startling truth: As human beings we will stand before the Lord someday and He will ask why He should allow us into heaven. Unlike these talented contestants, we won't be able to compete for a spot or be accepted on pure talent or past successes. The Lord will be looking for each person's "it" factor, that something that makes that person qualified above and beyond their talent. 

© X factor and Fox
Unfortunately, this "x" factor is not something we come by naturally. It is not something we can earn. In Acts 16, the apostle Paul and Silas are thrown into prison. In the middle of the night, there is an earthquake and the prison doors open. The guard believes all the prisoners escaped, but Paul tells him that everyone is still present and accounted for. The man falls on his face and asks, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” In verse 31, Paul tells him, "“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved." That is the "x" factor that qualifies us for heaven.

When we make the decision to follow Jesus, to believe He is the only Son of God who died on the cross and rose from the grave for us, it changes the way we live. Our "it" factor becomes a reflection of the God we serve and not a selfish pursuing of riches or talent. It doesn't diminish the gifts God gave us, but it does change our motivation in how we use them. Then, our "x" factor is the result of belonging to Christ, and our emotions and acceptance do not rise or fall based on the judgements of man but on the character of the Lord.

"But the LORD said to Samuel, 'Don't judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'" My final judgement before the Just Judge will be a reflection of who I am, not what I have done. For that, I am so thankful.

Do you have the X factor?

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