Paula Deen, Homecoming 1993, and the love of Jesus


What do these three have in common?

What celebrities say or do can ruin their careers in an instant. Paula Deen, with her past use of the N-word. Miley Cyrus – we’ll just leave it at that. Justin Beiber with pot, DUIs, etc. And so many more.

While what these people and many others did varied, the public eye is often unforgiving. It takes one quick mess-up, intentional or not, and that’s what you are remembered for.

During the Paula Deen scandal, I remember feeling so bad for her. *Please know I’m not condoning her use of the word – I do not use that word, and don’t want to hear anyone else using it, period.* But to see someone shamed by so many is hard to watch.

Homecoming 1993- tan, thin,
and able to wear sequins… Those
were the days…I just noticed my left
shoulder looks like it’s being pulled
down, I’m guessing, by the 10-pound corsage
that looks more like a floral decoration for a casket

I remember saying not long ago that I am way glad I am not famous. There’s a home video of my 1993 homecoming where I may or may not have flippantly used a derogatory word toward my date, one that I wouldn’t even think of using now (if I even hear this particular word from a stranger now, I give a stern scowl). I didn’t mean it literally at all, but I do regret saying it, big time. I feel terrible that I did. And all other reasons aside, that’s one reason I will never be elected president.

*Other reasons include, but are not limited to, not knowing the difference between the Senate and the House of Representatives, not being able to locate Syria, Kuwait, and Crimea on a map (really all places outside of the US, and some inside the US, especially the square ones in the middle), and not knowing exactly how a bill becomes a law (somehow I didn’t pay attention during that episode of Schoolhouse Rock).

But for me to feel like when I mess up, it is not as big of a deal as when  people who are famous do, is not okay. God said a whole bunch of times that it is not okay. One particular time is when God spoke to Joshua, as He was encouraging Joshua as the new leader of the Israelites, just after Moses’ death.

In Joshua 1:7, He said, “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant LMoses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.” 

While God was speaking directly to Joshua, I feel sure He wants us all to follow this advice. Believe me, we are not perfect. We are going to mess up. It is likely we are going to turn a little to the right one day, and maybe a little to the left another. But it’s not okay to use that as an excuse to do whatever we feel like doing. Our goal is to stay on track. While our salvation is not because of how we act, if we really love God, we want to live in a way that pleases Him.

And while the whole world isn’t keeping tabs on us through the internet orEntertainment Tonight, we each have our own set of people keeping an eye on us, even when we don’t realize it. People in our separate corners of the world who are looking to see if the love of Jesus is really in us, and if that makes us different from anyone else. And it should. It might not make us perfect, but it does make us different. The love of Jesus showing in our lives makes all the difference. 

Whether it’s our Facebook postings, how we interact with our family, or the attitude we have at work or church – let’s make it our purpose to show that love, whether we think anyone is watching or not. Because they are, and even if they aren’t, Jesus is, and what could be better than for Him to watch us and be proud of us?

For your amusement, and my education, here is a little something to watch 🙂


About Jen Chapman

She is a wife to Shawn for 22 years and counting, and a mom to Noah, and together they live out their story in their tiny town of Barboursville, WV. She is a freelance writer and a blogger at Flowers, bookstores, and people are what make her smile. She has seen God’s grace redeem her big-time and wants everyone to know it and experience it for themselves. She wants more than anything to give praise and honor to Jesus, and point people to Him.

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