by Mike Baker
“It’s not right!” shouted the infamous 26-year-old hotel heiress as she was once again ordered to serve actual time in the jail. Paris Hilton cried out for her mother as the reality of her fate unfolded. She soon found herself in the presence of officers and escorted back to the jail.
I really don’t know why we have a fascination with celebrities in our society today. They are often held up as heroes or even as gods to some. But even though they are rich, they are still just people.
Paris and her friend, Nicole Richie, starred in the series, “The Simple Life,” which attempted to place the two in “normal” every-day situations that most people face. Routine and mundane tasks were then assigned to the duo, who in turn, would often fail in the task and make fun of the people who have to work.
Paris has led a pleasure-filled life in full view of the public. She has lived with excesses of drugs, alcohol, and various sexual partners and even had some of her homemade X-rated videos exposed for public consumption.
Through all of this her celebrity star rose higher and higher. Then in September, 2006, she was arrested for driving under the influence. This charge was later reduced to reckless driving, and she was placed on probation.
But rules don’t matter to some people. She violated her probation twice, the last time while speeding at night on a suspended license with her headlights off. Additionally she never enrolled in a mandated alcohol education program.
Driving under the influence is dangerous and illegal. In 2006, 17,941 people were killed in alcohol-related traffic accidents. That’s 41% of all traffic deaths. Each year about 1.4 million people are arrested for drunk driving (www.madd.com).
The judge that sentenced Paris to jail for 45 days was trying to send a message to a person who held herself to be above the law. Money, power, and fame can certainly control one’s destiny in our society. But this time wealth and fame did not stop Paris from facing reality.
In speaking of the dangers of riches and greed, Paul wrote the following to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:9-10.
“But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (NKJV)
After watching the rich young ruler walk away sorrowfully, Jesus said in Matthew 19:23, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Riches compete with God for the object of our worship. What Paris and countless others have yet to learn is that neither money nor mother can ultimately save you from your own actions. As Paul said in Romans 14:12, “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.”
Solomon aptly defined the “real” simple life in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.”
Facing the reality of our sins here on earth is much preferred to facing the reality of eternal torment on the Day of Judgment. May each of us renew our faith in God’s ways today and may we enjoy the reality of the assurance from our loving Father.
A 1962 Kentucky native, Mike and his wife Carla have twin 16-year-old sons. After a successful career in corporate work, Mike began full-time preaching and is currently the pulpit minister for the Church Street church of Christ in Lewisburg, Tenn. Mike also authors Our Daily Walk, a 5-minute daily radio devotional, also published in booklet form and on the internet at www.ourdailywalk.org.
Neither money nor mother can save you from your actions.