As I was watching Oprah being interviewed in one of her more private moments, she was asked what she wanted out of life. She said, “I want more joy!”
I find it funny hearing that because, from the outside, wouldn’t you think someone like Oprah Winfrey could have “joy” picked, purified and delivered to her door. And of course it would be organic! She’s so wealthy there is literally nothing she can’t buy. But she doesn’t have enough joy and neither do most of the Hollywood celebrities we spend our lives obsessing over.
We’re all guilty to some degree of daydreaming of the lifestyles of the rich and famous. I mean who wouldn’t want exotic vacations, lavish homes and staff’s that cater to their every need? I always seem to think these people have some secret to a more contented life. They always look so happy and thin, don’t forget thin! And Angelina Jolie has one nanny for each child! What mom wouldn’t want that?
But at the end of the day these “celebs” lay their heads on their pillow and go to sleep in their beds just like we do. Their sheets may just have a higher thread count. Here’s the revelation, “They are no happier than we are!” I’ll take it a step further and say most of them are so caught up in “the Hollywood machine” that their anxiety is high and they’re actually unhappy. Why am I bursting your bubble about your favorite stars? Because I think we all need to make some changes in the way we look at pop culture. Maybe we have a part to play?
If each one of us took a step back and stopped empowering the media, I think we’d be better off. Do we really need to encourage programs called “Britney Spears-What went wrong?” I know it’s tempting. I watch those shows like a train wreck… sometimes I just can’t look away. But I’m trying to make myself a promise not to spend my time listening to speculations about celebs trying to figure out “who’s the hottest” in 2014. I really don’t get more joy out living vicariously through perfect good looking strangers. I just think I’ve been brainwashed by too much entertainment news that I need to know what’s going on Justin Timberlake’s love life.
I think it all boils down to the little poem I learned in 1st grade: Joy = Jesus, then Others, then Myself. (I don’t think it means reading all the tabloids in the supermarket line or at the hair salon).
We as Christians can be known sometimes to be the first to judge a sinner for their misconduct and trash talk celebrities like we know them and their hearts (as if we’re so perfect).
Luke 15:7 states, “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” So instead of joining the ranks of the celebrity worshipers or the people trying to play God, let’s remember these “stars” are people who need some serious Jesus and our prayers can make a difference! When I go onto a set or have a big meeting in Hollywood, I try to pray for the person I’m meeting with and ask God how I can be a witness of His love not His condemnation. That film exec might have a child that needs healing or a personal situation that God will give me just the right words for. Maybe I’m the only Christian they’ll ever open up to? I know we’re called to be in this world but we don’t have to do things “the world’s way.” I know it’s hard!
I’ve been convicted lately because I’ve been teaching my six year old daughter the word “inappropriate” when it comes to things she’s looking at. I’m a drill sergeant when it comes to what I allow her to see. We were doing pedicures together the other day and I was reading People magazine. Lucy kept grabbing every page saying, “MOMMY, this is inappropriate! Mommy, this lady is inappropriate, look at her dress.” She finally grabbed the magazine and threw it down. She said, “Mommy, I think you better put that whole magazine away! They need some Jesus!” Well, after I got over my embarrassment of being called out by a six year old, the thought that I’m raising up the next generation of godly women brought me something great… JOY! I just have to go throw away all my pop culture magazines before Lucy finds them. No wonder my mom read Guideposts!