Naked Celebrities, Sexting and Things That Break My Heart

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Searches on Google for actress Jennifer Lawrence skyrocketed a week ago. As you probably already know, the star of Hunger Games was not being searched out because adoring fans wanted to know more about her role as Katniss. Nude photos of her (along with other young celebrities) were stolen and released on the internet for all to see.

I couldn’t tell you the details, but what matters is that there were photos and they were not meant for the public.

My heart breaks for those whose privacy was stolen.

My heart breaks that we live in a world where someone would intentionally hack another’s account with the purpose of hurting them.

But can we go a little deeper? Does it not break anyone else’s heart that there is a demand for these pictures? My heart breaks that there are people who will seek out these photos for their own personal enjoyment.  Google reports that searches for “Jennifer Lawrence” skyrocketed in the days following the release of the photos. It is easy to see there is a depravity-driven appetite in each of us.

It might be enough to stop here and say, “If we didn’t demand it, things like this wouldn’t happen.” But we cannot stop here.  

Let’s think about the leaked photos on a much larger scale. The demand of men today for naked pictures forces girls to assume their worth is in their physical appearance, their ability to be sexy and willingness to expose themselves.

The message is loud and clear – you are nothing more than something for my enjoyment.

This breaks my heart.

There are a lot of different statistics out there, but let’s say that one in four teenagers will be involved in sexting. This is the exchange of sexually explicit texts and pictures.

I will make a simple assumption. If a girl is sending a picture of herself naked to a guy, the girl was asked to. Maybe by the guy or our culture. Either way, something has gone terribly wrong when a girl feels the need to reveal herself to a guy.

It is becoming easier for a young girl to believe they are nothing more than physical beauty.

So, to the girls:

  • Your value is not in a picture you could send. I’m sorry that some guys have forgotten that you are a daughter of the king.

To the guys:

  • Let’s choose to affirm girls for something other than their looks.

 

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Graduating is not the Goal

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Jesus never asked you to graduate college.

Jesus did command you to make disciples.

The two are too easily confused. I know because most people will graduate without ever making a disciple.

A college degree is a worthy endeavor, in fact, I have two of them. I cannot tell you what God has planned for you educationally, but I know God’s will is that you share the Gospel with people.

Do you believe that the greatest reason you are in college is because God called you there to be a missionary? If this is true, then there are some things to remember as school starts this year:

1. Your friend’s eternal destiny is more important than your temporary destiny

Preparing yourself for the next chapter of life is important but not nearly as important as Jesus is to your lab partner. Set good priorities this year and remind yourself daily of what is really important.

2. Manage your time.

Your parents have paid a lot of money for a degree (or you are paying for it). In 2014 it will cost on average $30,094 to attend a private university. If you throw in food and a place to sleep, it gets even higher. If you are paying that much money, you should graduate. Manage your time in such a way that you can study and live life on mission. Maybe this means less time in front of a computer screen and more time on your knees. 

3. Love without limits.

Open your apartment to new friends, cook a meal for freshmen, leave the comfort zone of your friends to reach others, or offer to give rides in your car every time it is possible. We will go to great lengths to sacrifice for a test (you’ll pull a couple all-nighters this year). Why can’t we go to extraordinary lengths to love others?

4. Commit to growth.

Find a community of believers who want to live out the mission of the church. Join a small group, be at church, and disciple someone. If the greatest thing you will do in college is make disciples, then surround yourself with people who are doing that. Also, commit to training yourself to be a disciple.

Thankfully, it is possible to graduate and make disciples at the same time. Go make disciples and while you are at it, maybe you will graduate college.

What good is graduating if your roommate never heard of Jesus?