Thursday, June 11, 2009

Face Value: Judging a Book by its Cover

Bookstores are one of my favorite places. Of course, libraries are even better because they're free. 

But on a recent shopping escapade, I was pretty disappointed (and humored!) with a some of the titles I saw. I even wrote down a few of them here:

How Not to Die
O's Big Book of Happiness
Why He Didn't Call You Back
Livin' the Moment: Getting to Ecstasy through Wine, Chocolate and the iPod Playlist

It's not a surprise that these were found in the "self-help" section. The human race has always looked to outside sources for answers to success, happiness, health and remedy. It's a lesson I need to learn, too. I am constantly seeking the approval of others and admit to "livin' the moment" every now and then. I'm not perfect; but I think we need to remember to keep our eyes focuses on the things above, rather than to other imperfect human we place with high authority (i.e. Oprah). What better person to follow than the only one who truly was, is and always will be P-E-R-F-E-C-T? I don't know anyone else who has achieved that status in human form other than Jesus. 

In our Beth Moore study, it's clear that I need to keep my attention focused on the things above. Where I look indicates what I hear, which influences how I feel and tells me what to expect. Therefore, I know that if I look to God, I know what I can expect. People, books, food, can never fully give me what I desire. Psalm 121 says, "I lift my eyes up to the hills/From where does my help come?/My help comes from the LORD,/Who made the heaven and the earth."

Case Study: Jon & Kate

They are household names: Jon and Kate (Plus 8). The religion section at the bookstore featured: "Multiple Bles8sings: Jon and Kate." While pop culture is obsessed with the unique family and, most recently, the couple's rocky relationship, I am sorely disappointed. Every People article, entertainment show and even the local news has taken a piece of the Jon & Kate Pie.  To what avail? Perpetuation of their scandalous behavior only further deteriorates their marriage and could lead to a very public divorce. Shame on the media for invading their lives, scripting their every move. The book portrays a loving, Christian family. Pre-scandal, the family seems to put prayer at the center and put their trust in God as their provider and sustainer. But what of it now? Media seem to have pitted Jon and Kate against each other. One entertainment show teased, "Up next, you'll find out why Jon and Kate aren't even sitting on the same couch in this exclusive interview."

Who will answer for their divorce when it happens? True, Jon and Kate chose to be featured on a reality TV show, but media also need to know when enough is enough. Has Princess Diana's death taught us nothing?

Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. - Psalm 34:13


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