A Bing search today provided an ironic set of results for celebrity Selena Gomez. She became the first person to reach 100 million Instagram followers AND checked herself into a rehab facility to deal with depression and emotional issues. One would think that someone who has so many fans would have no reason to suffer emotionally, yet this is not the case, as social media followers cannot provide the same emotional support to deal with serious problems in life. As a celebrity, Gomez probably realizes this and understands the difference between fans and friends. However, those of us who do not have fame may feel that if we could just have 1,000 social media followers then our voice could be heard and we would be important. Such is an illusion. There is far more value in a few people who truly love and support you than many times that in “followers.”
Gomez likely is suffering additional problems brought on because of celebrity. If we think fame will solve problems, it will probably only magnify our problems and may create new ones. Many business, sports, and entertainment stars have achieved their goals and received the riches and accolades they desired only to discover a nagging question: “Is this all there is?” The book of Ecclesiastes emphasizes the futility of the things in this life bringing our life meaning; however, we can be satisfied with work and achievement if we have it in perspective. There are famous people who do not care about fame who are able to handle its rise and fall with grace.
From my understanding, Selena Gomez has gone through some significant challenges that would impact anyone’s emotional state. It is wise that she is seeking help to deal with these issues and hopefully she will find strength and encouragement to get through this difficult time. It is good that she is turning to people and not drugs or alcohol. I understand the treatment is from a Christian perspective so I hope, and will pray, she can find God’s wisdom as a strength and guide.
Although we may not realize it, the things that entertain us can greatly influence us. Their influence is more subtle, like the gradual erosion of a rock by rain, wind, and heat. Yet, gradually the entertainment industry can shape our minds. Many women have poor self-esteem because they cannot look like television stars or models. However, the stars and models do not look perfect either! We see the final product, filtered by editing rooms and touch up artists. There are no perfect looking people and, as the Bible teaches, these transitory features must not be our focus anyway, Proverbs 31:30.
The media culture will try to convince us that we do not have enough. It teaches that unless we have certain labels on our clothes, certain jobs, elite neighborhoods, and the like, that we will be miserable. Therefore, we must continue to shop and continue to buy. Proverbs 27:20 warns us: “Hell and Destruction are never full; So the eyes of man are never satisfied.” We must be content, 1 Timothy 6:6.
The entertainment industry often teaches values that are not in harmony with the Scriptures. The popular culture approves of many things contrary to sound doctrine (Romans 1:18-32; Galatians 5:19-21). We can desensitize ourselves to the abhorrent nature of these sins by exposing ourselves to it a little at a time. The gradual assault on our minds can erode our good morals and godly principles. Sadly, we have opened the door for these influences, sat them down in our houses, and parents have even placed them before their children.
Positive entertainment, when shared by godly friends, can draw people closer together. We can do many activities as Christians. Our joy is enhanced when we can do those activities with our fellow brethren and families. There are some movies and TV shows, though rare, that provide positive lessons and exemplify good principles. Some songs extol the marriage relationship, the parent-child relationship, and doing the right thing. We can properly use what is good but must shun evil.