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Discerning Culture

Heroes and Celebrities

Kevin DeYoung makes a great point at his blog about heroes vs celebrities. This needs to be clear in our mind as we disciple our children. Are the people they are following heroes or celebrities? Here is part of what he had to say:

“Christians need heroes. They can live without celebrities.

The two are not always easily distinguished. Some heroes become celebrities and some celebrities can be heroic. But in general, the two words mean different things and refer to two different kinds of people.

  • Heroes are admired for bravery, nobility, honor, and character. Celebrities are admired for beauty and talent.
  • Heroes grow through suffering and we respect them for it. Celebrities flounder in dysfunction and we are amused by it.
  • Heroes are followed; we want to learn from them. Celebrities are feted, we want to lounge with them.
  • Heroes makes us feel unworthy when we are around them and not the best we can be. Celebrities make us feel special just to be near them.
  • Heroes serve others with or without being noticed. Celebrities perform to be seen by others.
  • Heroes don’t look for status, recognition, or payment. Celebrities look for the cameras and for lucrative compensation.
  • Heroes desire to sacrifice for others. Celebrities enjoy others sacrificing for them.
  • Heroes admit their faults. Celebrities flaunt their talents.
  • Heroes deflect praise. Celebrities crave it.
  • Heroes edify. Celebrities entertain.”
This distinction is helpful with our children and even in the church (see 1 Corinthians 3). It might be worth printing down this list and talking it over with them. It seems that we have a lot of celebrities in the music world, the sports world. Do we highlight the heroes that we see. Read again, “Not all heroes are celebrities.”
Read the whole thing here.



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