Jim Denison on Two Keys to Using Fame Well

Jim Denison is the founder and CEO of the Denison Forum, a nonprofit Christian media organization that comments on current issues through a biblical lens. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of BCNN1.

“Best team. Best season. Best player. And for this season, perhaps even the best coach. Of all time.”

That’s how CBS Sports begins its coverage this morning of LSU’s victory over Clemson in last night’s NCAA football championship game. LSU’s coach, Ed Orgeron, is one of the best stories of this improbable season.

Orgeron became the interim coach of the University of Southern California football team in 2013 but failed to get the job permanently. He told his wife, Kelly, “Besides the day I buried my father, this is the worst day of my life.”

She replied, “No, it’s not,” and explained that “God had a better plan.” Orgeron said, “Whew! It better be good.”

It was.

Orgeron became head coach of the LSU Tigers in 2016. His quarterback, Joe Burrow, won the Heisman Trophy this year. Last night, his team won the title, stopping Clemson’s twenty-nine-game winning streak.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney’s faith has become well known over the years, as has the faith of quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Now we know that Orgeron and his wife are followers of Jesus as well.


Athletic fame is fleeting.

Former NFL coaches Jimmy Johnson and Bill Cowher learned over the weekend that they would be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. They join twenty-four other head coaches in the Hall. Can you guess their names? (I only got ten, and I’ve been watching football my entire life.) Eight people were inducted into the Hall last year. I had never heard of two of them.

The first key to using fame well is using it for greater good.

For instance, Serena Williams, Roger Federer, and Rafa Nadal are among the tennis champions who have committed to a charity match raising funds to fight Australian bushfires. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio pledged $3 million toward wildfire relief, joining a variety of other celebrities who are making donations.

NBA basketball star Trae Young recently helped eliminate $1 million in past-due medical debt for struggling families. And Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, who is making headlines for his show’s “Greatest of All Time” competition that continues tonight, told reporters that he hopes viewers have come to appreciate “the benefits of knowledge” as a result of his thirty-six-year career with the program.


The second key to using fame well is to be a person whose private integrity empowers our public influence.

I was asked a question recently: If a person doesn’t believe that the Bible is true, how can we convince them that Jesus is the only way to heaven? Quoting John 14:6 will not be persuasive for them any more than a Muslim quoting the Qur’an will persuade you to become a Muslim.

Since fewer Americans than ever believe the truthfulness of Scripture (24 percent in a recent Gallup survey), this is a real and growing issue.

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Source: Christian Headlines