Daily Devotional for Thursday May 25, 2006
The Lessons of American Idol
(Psalms 2:11; Ephesians 6:7; Hebrews 12:28)
By the time this Devotional is going out, there will be a new American Idol. The 5th season of the highest-rated program on TV today (over 40 million viewers), concluded and either Alabama's Taylor Hicks or Southern California's Katharine McPhee was voted by the viewers as the newest American Idol. To Fox TV's credit, Idol is actually one of the more watchable programs on television for families. It is a refreshing throwback to some of the old talent programs that have always been popular since the inception of television. The real "hook" of Idol is that it is the viewers who vote to ultimately choose who the winner is. There are actually several interesting spiritual lessons from American Idol that I want to share with you today.
The first spiritual lesson is how people will chase after the temporary things of this world with all they have, yet put very little time, effort, or sacrifice in pursuing the eternal things of God. At the beginning of each season of American Idol, auditions are held in 5 or 6 major cities. People come from all over and will line up for days, camping out, braving the weather, just to be able to audition for an opportunity to get a "golden ticket" to go to California and the next round of the competition. It is amazing to hear the stories of those who sacrificed to come to the audition, taking buses for days, using their last dollar to get there, leaving their families and jobs behind to try and become the next American Idol.
Of course, the ultimate goal of each person who auditions is to become an overnight superstar in the music industry, enjoying all of the fame and fortune that goes along with success in that business. It is interesting to watch thousands and thousands of people give all they have for a shot at becoming a famous singer. Idol is a great example of how people will sacrifice everything for the temporary things this world has to offer. My friend, whatever fame you may acquire, whatever fortune you may amass, all becomes meaningless the second you die. When you stand before God He is not gong to be impressed you became an American Idol, or that you sold 50 million records, or that you won 5 Grammys, or that you lived in a 5 million dollar home, or that you were worth millions of dollars. No, the only thing that God is going to be interested in and impressed by is your relationship with His Son Jesus Christ!
A sad lesson from American Idol is the incredible lengths most people will go to, to chase the temporary things of this world, while very few people will make those same sacrifices to pursue the eternal things of God.
Another great lesson from American Idol is how so many people live their lives through the lives of others. Watching the program to see how your favorite does, watching for the entertainment value is fine. What I am talking about are people who live vicariously though those on the program whether it is the host Ryan Seacrest, the judges, or the contestants. It is amazing to me how may people live their lives through the lives of others whether it be Hollywood actors, people in the music business, sports stars, TV personalities, politicians, people they know, and even people in the ministry.
God gave each of us this wonderful gift of life. We are each unique and special. You need to live your life instead of wasting it by living through someone else's. When you do that, you are cheating yourself out of this precious gift God has given you. A great lesson from American Idol is to not get caught up living your life through someone else's, LIVE YOUR OWN LIFE!
The other great lesson from American Idol is that man has the creativity and ability to create vehicles to reach the masses with a message. I am fully aware that the motivation behind American Idol is money, large amounts of money. That is the motivation and driving force for creating this program that is reaching the masses. I contend that if we can use our creativity and ingenuity to create a vehicle to reach the masses for money, how much more should we be using that same creativity and ingenuity to reach the masses for Christ! Not only is it something we have been commanded to do by our Lord, it should be the desire of every Believer to reach this lost world we live in with the Truth of God's Word and the hope we have in Jesus Christ!
Another great lesson from American Idol is that man knows no bounds when it comes to creating something from nothing that can reach the masses so he can make a profit. I submit to you today, those who know the Lord should be challenged that if men of the world can create vehicles to reach the masses simply to make money, how much more motivated should men of God be to reach the masses to bring them the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!!
I love you and care about you so much. Tens of millions of people have watched and voted and gotten caught up in Idolmania these past few months. It is over for another season as either Taylor or Katharine is the newest American Idol. I pray today that for the people who sacrifice and give everything they have for a shot at the temporary fame and fortune of this life, they will sacrifice and give everything they have for the eternal rewards of Heaven. I pray today that for those who live their lives through others, they will begin to live their own unique and special lives. I pray today that instead of using the incredible gifts and creativity and ingenuity to reach the masses for a few dollars, men will use those same gifts and creativity and ingenuity to reach the masses for Jesus.
I'm encouraged by a program like American Idol. It proves people will sacrifice for the things of this world, now we need to help them see how much better it is to sacrifice for the things of God. It proves that people want to live better lives, now we need to help them see that they are special and unique can have a better life if they will follow the Lord. It proves that men can create unique vehicles to reach the masses for money, now we need to challenge men to create unique vehicles to reach the masses for the Lord. May we learn these lessons from American Idol and make an impact with our lives for Christ!