We are surrounded by images and messages that do not tell the truth about the good life.
This week, Forbes released its annual top celebrities list, The Celebrity 100. Quite simply, the list measures, as Forbes shamelessly puts it, “money and fame”. Calculating the in-crowd includes looking at earnings over the past year, as well as “media and social networking power”.
One gets the sense that we are encouraged to idolize these people. Wealth and fame are incredibly seductive, and have become the holy grail in our modern religion of self-worship. Beyonce, JayZ, Dr. Dre, Ellen DeGeneres, Rhianna, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Justin Beiber, Lady Gaga, etc. are among our new saints – even though many of them are anything but.
The longer I am a parent, the less I understand our fascination with celebrities. Being a parent, I think, opens your eyes to what is really important in life – things like unconditional love, selflessness and stability. Yet, the celebrity culture seems to turn everything on its head: what is essential for a happy life is not valued, while the less important things – such as wealth, fame and beauty – are touted as the only way to happiness.
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1 Samuel 12:20-22 King James Version (KJV)
And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart; And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain. For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the Lord to make you his people.