So it’s Christmas break and it’s been filled with running 3 miles a day and eating nothing but protein and salad, but actually not really. It’s really been filled with a 4000 piece puzzle, lots of books, tv, and cooking! So basically organized laziness. To be honest, I’ve probably been watching a little too much tv. But it’s got me thinking…
I recently was talking with someone about a celebrity pastor. His name is Rich Wilkerson Jr., and he has a new reality tv show called “Rich in Faith.” I’ve watched a few episodes because to be honest, I was a little skeptical about it. But after watching the first episode, I changed my mind. I think it’s intriguing enough that some people might try this whole faith thing again. And if more people come away knowing Jesus, I’m cool with it.
My friend was talking about this article that’s been floating around, as they seem to be doing these days -do I even need to say it? Justin Beiber- that was calling Rich out and saying he was a fraud and just looking to become a celebrity. And I’ll be honest, I haven’t read the article. But the gist of what she said was enough to frustrate me.
I have been so challenged lately, and often fail (literally yesterday), when it comes to talking about celebrities as if they’re not real people. Justin Beiber has a song on his new album called I’ll Show You. Some of the the lyrics go like this:
My life is a movie
And everyone’s watchin’
So let’s get to the good part
And past all the nonsense
Sometimes it’s hard to do the right thing
When the pressure’s coming down like lightning
It’s like they want me to be perfect
When they don’t even know that I’m hurting
This life’s not easy
I’m not made out of steel
Don’t forget that I’m human
Don’t forget that I’m real
You act like you know me
But you never will
But that’s one thing that I know for sure
I’ll show you
I guess when I heard this, I actually thought about all the crap I’ve thrown at JB and his career, and actually felt remorse. Point blank – I think it’s wrong that we keep sharing our opinions about people we don’t even know. I can’t even begin to imagine the kind of pressure that comes with living under a microscope or a spotlight. Most times I don’t even like the minuscule spotlight that comes from my own social media. I still do it, but how often are we worried or thinking about how people will perceive our posts? (I just reread this paragraph to make sure people would perceive it in the heart that I meant it. Seriously, I did. It’s real, people.) — But that’s beside the point.
I guess the real point I’m trying to make is that I’m not sure about these articles or the way we talk about people as if they weren’t created in God’s image. Guys! We see moments. And I think a lot of it is 1) taken out of context, 2) highlighted to sell money. I am in no way saying that everything they do is right. But is everything we do right? No. The only difference is that theirs is out there for the world to pick apart, and usually, ours is not.
Trying to remain faithful in a world that’s constantly scrutinizing their every move is hard. I mean let’s be honest, it’s hard even without a spotlight. I just wonder if Jesus would ever do that. Would he ever call people out by name and discuss their sins in front of the masses? I kind of don’t think he would. We’ve all got our crap, and I don’t see Jesus putting me on blast for the entire world to see, comment, egg-on, and gossip about. There’s a time and place.
I am as guilty as anyone – hear me on that. But I just think as the body of Christ we’re supposed to push each other in our faith. Right? I mean if not, what are we even doing? I know I need people that love me and know me to have those conversations with me, not some random spectators that only see my high points and low points on social media. Because you don’t know Rich Wilkerson Jr. and neither do I. And whether he’s faking it or being real, honestly, it was never our job to judge. We all have to have those uncomfortable conversations with people who know our heart and the in’s and out’s of our life, not with random people who see what we post online. Those type of convicting conversations can make us better, stronger. Praise publicly, correct privately.
I think it’s unfair that we get to pass judgements on celebs that will never get to confront us about it. They’ll probably never share with us their most vulnerable feelings, the guilt or shame they’ve maybe felt at one point, or the frustrations they face with people talking about them like they truly, authentically know them. We don’t know them. We get to sit behind our screen and write well-written, grammatically-free blasts because they’ll probably never see it. And it’ll give us something to discuss and gossip about on Facebook. Can that just not be a thing anymore? Whatever happened to that old saying our parents used to say, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” When did that lose its power?
We need to remember that people are people, celebs included.