Extra Tonight! Scandal: Britney Marries Huckabee!

The other day I heard a local pastor on the radio who is referred to as Father Crunk.  Yep, that’s right.  He has an occasional feature on one of the Top 40 stations in Atlanta.  I really enjoyed him.  He was talking this week about our fascination with celebrities in the gossip mags and on reality tv. Then, last night as we were checking out at the store, I perused the usual magazines.  You’ve got the latest dirt there for everyone from Britney to Obama.  It can be really entertaining to watch the downfall of these people.  But is that the right attitude to approach all this with?  Now I don’t want to come out condemning anyone who reads these magazines or the companies who publish them.  But I do think it’s a great time to pause and rethink our approach.

It turns out, celebrities and media personalities are people–human beings.  For one, that means they do stupid things, say stupid things, get in bad situations, gain weight, lose weight, and lose their minds sometimes.  And being human also means they’re just like us.   Maybe instead of trashing these people to each other or to ourselves, we should take a different approach.  What has happened in their lives to put them in this place?  Is there someone who could have made a difference for them?  A lot of these stories are false.   Maybe we should ask, “What is it inside us and in our culture that loves to see someone fail?”  Does it make us feel better about our failures?  Is it just escapism, or more deceptive than that?

It can be hard enough to be understanding with those we know personally when they fail.  Maybe it would be a good exercise to think through these things next time you come across the newest scandal.  Maybe we could actually pray for that person, that there is someone supportive around them if they truly are dealing with some tough issues.  And maybe next time someone close to us fails, or we fail, we’ll give and experience more love and understanding.

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