At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; He shall not stand before mean men (KJV).
Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men (ESV).Proverbs 22:29
Scriptures teach that cream rises. Excellence excels, and craft competence will out. That is the basic principle.
But this proverb begins at the end of the business. In other words, we see the diligent man being finally honored for his accomplishment. He wins the award, he is recognized by the president, he performs for the rich and famous. All very satisfying.
So we see in the proverb that there is nothing inherently sinful about fame. It is a good thing when a king recognizes excellence, and we should never pretend that it is not a good thing. But there is an unmentioned qualification in this proverb.
Where did the diligence come from? When the diligent man, when the skillful man, is finally honored, that honor is not given in obscurity. But more often than not the reason he is being honored is because he labored for a long time, and thanklessly, in obscurity. That is how a man usually achieves high levels of excellence.
Those who are scrambling for the limelight, lusting after fame, are treating glory the way a redneck who just won the lottery would treat his newly-won riches. If you come into fame too quickly, or too easily, it is easy to fritter the whole thing away. But if you labor quietly in the shadows for years, you will get to levels of excellence that simply cry out for recognition. In other words, those who strive to find the short cut are playing a fool’s game.
The camera hound will come to nothing, while the person who honed his craft in diligent solitude will find the cameras have come for him.