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No Other Gods
Photo: Norman Chan
Michael Jackson. His name brings many different thoughts and emotions to the minds of those who hear it. As I have seen and heard the coverage of his recent death it has made me think again of the slippery slope on which so many celebrities find themselves. The very name of the popular national contest and TV show, American Idol, epitomizes the reality that many tend to idolize popular singers, actors, actresses and sports figures.

The lives of some celebrities are followed more closely it seems than major world events. If they gain or lose weight it becomes national news. The clothes they wear become the latest trends. We find their faces on tee shirts and the details of their latest relationships reported and analyzed. They are expected to be slim, fit, attractive and sexy. How many times do careers that are built on all the wrong things spiral downward and the life of the celebrity along with it. They are lifted up on pedestals impossible to stay aright on and then we look on in disgust when the disintegration of their lives is played out on TV, in magazines and on the internet.

People Just Like Us

I don’t presume to understand all the factors that cause some of the popular celebrities to fall into such extreme problems, but I do know that many times we forget that these idols that we have created are people just like us; people who live in an environment that few can survive intact. Many do not know Jesus as their personal friend and savior. Their lives are filled with immoral and addictive behaviors, trying desperately to fill a void that popularity has failed to satisfy. I was saddened to read of the loneliness and despair of Michael Jackson, mourned by millions of fans and yet never able to find the love and acceptance he craved. 

Whatever we may think of these popular figures and the lives they live, sometimes we need to remind ourselves that Jesus hung on the cross for their sins too. He died for Michael Jackson and Brittany Spears and Lindsay Lohan and the list could go on and on. Have you ever prayed for any of these celebrities? When I hear of some new disgrace, that is exactly what I am challenged to do, pray that somehow God can get through all of the addictions, the temptations, the hurt and loneliness, the pride and success of the world they have chosen to reach their hearts with His love.

“You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Is it possible that in our fascination with popular figures we may find ourselves disregarding the first commandment? Instead of idolizing people, whoever they may be, we need Jesus to be our hero, the one we stand in awe of, the one whose words and actions we can’t get enough of, the one we can imitate unreservedly, the only one who deserves and can safely take that place in our lives!

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By Leslie Olin. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.
Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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