Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Cutting Them Down to Size

I didn't really want to look at it, but it was there as I was loading the groceries on the conveyor belt. Sometimes I get a chuckle out of supermarket tabloids, but the stuff that focuses on the stars really kinda irritates me. And this one, with the headline, "Cellulite of the Stars," was way too over the top for me.

You see the cover at right. It featured multiple close-up shots of people (I'm assuming they were all women) wearing their bathing suits. But the pics weren't about the bathing suits. The pics were about the disfigured legs, etc. of the "pretty people."

The posterior parade listed some names I frankly didn't recognize. Others were familiar, probably because they were well past the normal age of perfect physical fitness. But either way, the celebrity cellulite carried an air of vengeance. You see, the article didn't seem to be presenting these pictures with an attitude of "Aw, poor Farrah (or whoever it was), isn't it a shame that she seems to have gained a little weight in her thighs?"

No. This was a full-blown "HA HA HA HA HA! Look at the fat on that former supermodel! What a pig! She's not fooling me!"

I realize that the paparazzi probably camped out under a sand dune at the beach, just waiting for celebrities to bend over and display their pockmarks and saddlebags. There is no sympathy for the high and mighty. We enjoy seeing the rich become poor. We crave the chance to watch the pretty people (or at least the ones prettier than us) become ugly. Skinny people turn fat? Fantastic! Young people become old? Perfect!

The old saying is that misery loves company. I think it's more like miserable people want others to be more miserable than them. I heard a poll once that found that most workers would agree to a paycut to only $100 a day if their co-workers would get only $80 a day. After all, we're more valuable than everybody else. Right?

I wonder if that doesn't play into some folks attitude toward witnessing. It's not so important to present Christ's love if it means that somebody less worthy than ourselves will go to heaven. Scholars think that was a bit of the problem in Corinth where the church would come together for the Lord's Supper, but the rich would have these huge meals and not share with the poorer folks in the congregation. Paul told them that their assemblies were doing more harm than good. The rich were so involved in themselves, they missed the entire point.

I've talked to "Christians" who typically look down on people who smoke, or drink, or are on welfare, or speak with an accent, or anything else that makes them different. I've known church members who have no problem sending money for missions overseas but wouldn't dream of helping the couple next door to the church pay the electric bill. My friends, that should not be.

The problem is that our natural state is like those who are pouring over the National Enquirer to see whose thighs have taken on excess baggage. We think way too much of ourselves and we love to think way too little of others -- especially those who intimidate us with their money or their power or their bikini-perfect bodies. We have to stop being so fixated on cutting others down to size and instead focus on bringing others to Christ. Poor and rich, fat and skinny, old and young are all just temporal issues. Saved or unsaved is eternal.

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Oscar1986 said...

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Eddie said...

Hi There.

I truly believe that a main factor here is that the Word of God to the Body of Christ has become turned outward, to the world outside the church. And has therefore, become powerless to change the mindsets of christians toward one another.

The church expects the world to change to a Bible focused life that they will not obey themselves.

Just Passing Through.

God Bless.

rev-ed said...

eddie, I think that's part of it. But I still think there's more of a feeling of superiority -- the Church Lady Syndrome, if you will -- within the minds of too many Christians. It's like the prayer, "Thank you, God, that I'm not like that tax collector over there!" It's not simply that we apply biblical standards to the world, we fail to see that we fail those standards as well.

Thanks for passing through.

rev-ed said...

oscar, that's an interesting bunch of models. If I get a chance I'll stop back and do some reading.

Bethany said...

Very interesting post. I agree with you. I think we are (I am?) too quick to jump on any inadequacies we see in others. Sad but true.