72 Days: I am No Better

I do not keep up with any of the Kardashians. Nothing about them is appealing to me, but there is a bigger reason why I don't watch their plethora of shows. It's the same reason I quit watching Kate Gosselin long before she became Kate minus Jon, why I don't watch Toddlers and Tiaras, those teen mom shows on MTV...really, almost any TLC or MTV shows. The reason is that I know myself well, and if I watch people on TV whom I find to be rather--and I'm being quite blunt here--horrible displays of humanity then I easily feel proud, as though I am less of a sinner in my very nature than they.

There is no better example of this than Kim Kardashian.  It's not just that I don't watch Keeping Up or the other Kardashian shows--I've never seen a single episode of any one. However, I did see Joel McHale on The Soup making fun of a clip with Kim in which she's on a dock and Kris Humphries playfully pushes her into crystalline aqua tropical water. Kim proceeds to FREAK out because, gasp, she's lost a $75,000 diamond earring. We aren't talking a little bummed out...she sobs, curses, gets rude with her family and new husband and essentially throws a temper tantrum. You can see for yourself if you'd like in this clip; just go to :11 seconds and watch for exactly one minute.

Images like this inundated us all this summer.

My heart goes all sorts of places. I think she's a spoiled brat. I wonder how she's not humiliated to act like that ever, let alone in front of her family and new husband, let alone in front of a video camera...meaning she acted that way in front of millions of people. Over an earring. In another clip one of her sisters (I think the one with the baby...Kourtney?) comments about how people are dying and Kim's freaking about an earring. Plus, I know she's a multi-millionaire so, sure, any of us hate losing something but it's not like she can't get another pair of earrings and it's not sentimental like a wedding ring...well, that's what I thought at the time when she was still married, which can't have been more than 71 days ago (sorry--started writing this Monday, then life happened so it's just going up today!). And, honestly, even if she could afford another pair, no matter how much money you have, who needs a $75k pair of earrings in the first place? Or, worse, what's not clear is that it may actually have been $75k just for that one earring.

And if you are like me and your family is doing ok, as in the bills always get paid but there isn't a lot of extra and that one earring was significantly more than your entire family's annual income (about double for us, if you take out taxes) then it's pretty easy to feel justified in comparing yourself to Kim K. like I just did and feeling pretty dang high on the not-a-lousy-human scale. She's petulant, spoiled, annoying, and ridiculous.

And you know what? So am I. It's easy to feel like I'm not ridiculous when I compare myself to Kim, but let's just go over some ways in which I actually am quite ridiculous.

  • I sigh bitterly when driving and the light turns yellow and I know I won't make it.
  • ...and don't even get me started on how much I hate red light cameras because they make me feel panicked, like I need to speed up at yellow lights instead of slowing down.
  • ...but I get REALLY annoyed when I need a red light so I can text someone about something, you know, really important but I keep hitting all the green ones. [And yes I text while driving, but ONLY at red lights]
  • I have actually, momentarily wished someone who just intentionally cut me off or drove in another rude manner would get in a car wreck and not get hurt but have it ruin their day, maybe week or month, because I feel that would be just payment for their manner of driving around me.
  • I get angry that our microwave overcooks the edges of food but leaves cold spots in the middle.
  • I feel sorry for myself when I change Roger out of a disposable diaper into a cloth diaper and then he poops within 20 minutes.
  • Actually, let's be honest. I feel sorry for myself if it's two hours later.
  • I get mad at my husband because I scrub the bathroom clean and then he shaves or brushes his teeth and little hairs or white toothpaste specks are all over everywhere on the sink & mirror.
  • I also feel sorry for myself when I scrub the bathroom clean and my husband doesn't notice.
  • I grumble incessantly when my iPhone doesn't do exactly what I want it to do like, 5 seconds ago already.
Let's be real, those are just the few things I was able to very quickly think up. There are so many more. And you know what? I'm spoiled. I have a car that gets me safely where I need to go and I can just get into it and drive and get somewhere. Praise Jesus for that! My son is adorable and we save tons of money by using cloth diapers, plus I feel a bit better about how we are stewarding the earth with every not-disposable-diaper use we employ. I have a beautiful home and a wonderful husband and it just honestly doesn't matter if he notices whether I cleaned or not. And, hello, I can check my email, look up the location of just about anywhere and get directions or call the place, not to mention the gazillion other unbelievably convenient features it carries out for me on a daily basis.

I am so spoiled. It's a lot of grace from a Father who loves me. And we need not get all guilt trippy, comparing me to starving people in Africa. As a human, I am spoiled with lots of grace. And, as my preaching pastor loves to say, it's not wrong to be spoiled by a good, loving parent. The problem is a child who acts spoiled. Regardless of how spoiled Kim Kardashian acts--and the HUGE to-do with her practically shotgun wedding only to file for divorce only 72 days later is easy to stamp with the "spoiled brat" label on her forehead--I can do myself no good by comparing myself to her because compared to Jesus I lose just as much as she does. 

Does this woman know she's not about to say vows that
she plans to keep "forever" or did things just really go
that wrong in only 72 days?

Please don't get me wrong: I want to think maybe there's more to the story that we all don't know, but I personally just can't understand having a HUGE "fairy tale" wedding, saying you want it to last forever and meaning it while filing for divorce just over 10 weeks later. I just can't fathom being genuine and then not even trying--no counseling, no anything, just divorce. It simply feels like a ploy and I understand why people are angry with her, since she's already consistently voted one of the most annoying celebrities. I know my heart wants to compare, to say that I'm better than her because four years and two months in I'm more in love with my husband than ever. Then I look at Jesus, and see that he's been committed 100% to his bride, the church, for eternity past and will stay committed selflessly and sacrificially for the rest of eternity and suddenly 72 days compared to 4.17 years is irrelevant. 

So to clarify on my original point, I don't watch shows the likes of Kim Kardashian's not because I wouldn't be entertained. Similarly, I don't choose to make my entertainment looking into someone's daily life (though I question how much of it, if not scripted, is at least no longer rightly categorized as "regular, daily, real life" once cameras and seasons and boosting ratings become involved) not because they are horrible people and it depresses me. While that can happen (I mostly don't watch the various parenting shows because not only do the mothers anger me but a part of me wants to somehow go in and save those babies and raise them in a loving home brimming with Jesus) I primarily can't watch shows in the celebreality (or wannabe-celeb reality) genre because I consistently pump myself up with thinking how much better I am than them, which blinds me to the sin that is trouncing about in my heart. 

Perhaps I am alone in this, but it tastes really good to take a huge bite off of the "Gosh, how much does she suck?" cookie when watching someone on a reality show be a complete ass. Jesus has so much more for me--he wants to show me how great he is, and in doing so, by grace allow me to see and repent of so much in my own heart that sucks every bit as much because it's every bit as much the same rebellion against God. The only difference is Jesus has paid the price, received God's wrath, for my sin.

As always, Jesus is the answer. He wins. Everyone else loses. May I not get so caught up in figuring out which humans make me feel better about myself by comparison that I forget how good my Jesus is and that he is who my Father sees when he looks at me; may I never stop praying that those who don't know him--among whom Kim Kardashian is by all evidence I can see--will be saved by Jesus and have that same privilege of identity and the ability to repent. I am blessed with much grace--may I never use it to condemn the dead desperate for life in Jesus.

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