Matthew 23:12
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Perhaps it is by a morbid curiosity that we are drawn to recognise how many celebrities come to such strange and tragic ends.  How is it that such a disproportionate number of persons who seemed to "have it all" end up becoming the objects of our heartfelt pity?  We watched amazed at their early talent and discovery.  We shared the satisfaction of their blossoming fame as the World came to acknowledge their gift and reserved for them the place of celebrity.  They deserved it, they worked so hard to get it. They deliver on their promise and their talent enrichs the World with a fresh river of entertainment.  The World enthrones them in a palace of greatness.  "Success."  But what is "success" if it cannot be fully enjoyed?  So we begin to chronicle the antics of the rich and famous as they seek to find "what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives." (Ecclesiastes 2:3 NIV)  Though they could do anything in the world with their abundant time and wealth, why are so many of them unrelentingly drawn, addicted to, the things that ultimately destroy them, leaving them broken, alone, penniless, hated, or dead?

Proverbs 14:12
There is a way that seems right to a man,
but in the end it leads to death.

The rich and famous often have the social and financial freedom to do whatever seems right to them.  And that freedom opens the door to many enticements that are out of the reach of most working class people.  Still, why do so many of the rich and famous reach for the things that destroy everything they have worked for?  Did their troubles start with that last party?  That last bad relationship?  The crowd they were running with?  Where was that first wrong turn?  Is there something earlier than everything we know, a real root cause of it all?

Matthew 4:8-10
The devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."  10 Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'"

"He made a deal with the Devil," is a saying we have probably all heard.  But probably none of us have actually seen it take place.  What if that is because it is not something that takes place out in the open where it can be seen?  What if "a deal with the Devil" is something that happens within the most private of all places, the secret commitment to the selfish ambitions formed in the privacy of one's own mind?  "If it costs me everything, some how, some way I will      (fill in the blank with your own big dream here)      !"

Isaiah 14:13-14
You said in your heart,
"I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.
I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High."

Even by itself, there is something about selfish ambition that eventually brings out the worst in people.  It confuses them about what is worth doing in life.  And it leads them on a path of self-destruction. 

James 3:16
For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

At least one of the root causes of the downfall of so many celebrities is the very thing that propelled them into the public eye in the first place: their ambition to become famous in the first place.  Every commandment of the Word of God is given for the benefit of those who obey it - to keep them from going down the road of self-destruction.


Philippians 2:3-8
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:  6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!



Proverbs 27:2
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
someone else, and not your own lips.


1 Corinthians 1:25-31
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory [self-promote] in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from Godand righteousness and sanctification and redemption that, as it is written, He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.  NKJV

Luke 3:5-6
Every valley shall be filled And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough ways smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

Modern Examples:

John Forbes Nash, the genius-schizophenic of "A Beautiful Mind" explained of his self-destructive descent into mental illness, "Nash has suggested his delusional thinking was related to his unhappiness and his striving to feel important and be recognized, and to his characteristic way of thinking such that "I wouldn't have had good scientific ideas if I had thought more normally.",_Jr
See also:
Differences between the real-life John Nash and that of Hollywood's "A Beautiful Mind"
1. No mention is made of John Nash's numerous affairs.
2. The only problems we see in the Nash's marriage concern his mental illness.
3. No mention is made of the illegitimate child that John Nash fathered or the fact that he abandoned this child without support.
4. No mention was made that Nash and his wife got divorced.
5. No mention was made of Nash's arrest of public lewdness in a men's bathroom, or his bisexuality.
6. No mention was made of many attempts to renounce his American citizenship.
7. At the end of the movie he gives a gushy speech professing his love for his wife at his Nobel Prize acceptance. In truth this never happened...
8. When told that his monetary prize for winning the Nobel was $ 310,000.00 his comment was "The Money Could be Better." (Also in Parade, 2-24)