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Miranda Writes: Your Replacement Is Here!




by Omar Miranda



I knew it was coming, and now it’s upon us: we’re finally being replaced! I’ll give you the highlights of the interesting—and disturbing—story I just read, and then we’ll talk about why it’s important and what it has to do with you.

I think the title says it all: “Teens Take Celebrity Cutouts as Prom Dates: Darling or Disturbing?”¹

The author speaks about a Colorado teen who just had to have Justin Bieber as her prom date. When she wasn’t able to get the real Biebs, she took a life-sized cardboard cutout of him. The two had a great time—dancing, having professional pictures taken—and the girl says she wasn’t upset by any weird looks that came her way.

The author mentions another teen who did just about the same thing the very same week in Iowa, only with a Tim Tebow cutout as her date.

“The fad might not be so funny if it continues to gain momentum,” we read later in the article. The author quotes a psychotherapist—Dr. Nancy Irwin—as saying, “Having a cardboard cutout in your bedroom can be OK, but to simulate a date or ‘real’ relationship in a public place is disallowing for real flesh-and-blood humans—who are not airbrushed or PR’d—to interact with you.”

Dr. Irwin did go on to say, “If it were a special event, a singular ‘theme party,’ it would be healthy, but to replace a human being, especially one that is idolized—as celebrities are—is making a statement that your peers are not good enough for you.”

Did you catch what was going on? A teen was so rabid with Bieber fever that she took a cutout of the star to the prom! I absolutely agree with the psychotherapist: this sends a dangerous and creepy kind of statement. And that statement is clear: if I don’t like my options for real, flesh-and-blood people, I’ll just take care of my own needs myself and make my own!

This isn’t just an interesting or disturbing story; it’s also an important reminder that as teens and Christians, it’s crucial that you learn to focus your mind and attention on what is real and eternal. The Bible tells us that as Christians we should focus our minds on the things of heaven, not on what’s on this earth. This story simply illustrates the power, influence, and importance of both stardom and our want-it, need-it, get-it-NOW culture. Recent Hollywood blockbuster movies such as Avatar and Gamer (tagline: “Who’s playing you?”) and the rising popularity of role-playing video games clearly illustrate our culture’s postmodern mentality that believes that truth is created rather than found, and if you don’t like something, well, just change it; after all, you’re in control of your life. Here’s the bottom line: if we choose to focus our minds and attention on this type of thinking, we’ll for sure be transformed, and not in a good way!

The Bible clearly states in 1 John 2:15-17: “Don’t love the world or anything that belongs to the world. If you love the world, you cannot love the Father. Our foolish pride comes from this world, and so do our selfish desires and our desire to have everything we see. None of this comes from the Father. The world and the desires it causes are disappearing. But if we obey God, we will live forever.”²

You see, as Christians we cannot both love the world and love God. Being a Christian is an “either-or” choice. It’s not multiple choice. God is looking for teens who as Christians don’t act like everybody else but are truly different. The apostle Paul told the Romans, who were living in a culture that was very much like our own today, “Dear friends, God is good. So I beg you to offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing. That’s the most sensible way to serve God. Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him” (Romans 12:1, 2).

The fact is, things won’t always be perfect for us as Christians living in this world. But we don’t need to fear. God has said He will never leave us or forsake us. Jesus told His disciples, “While you are in the world, you will have to suffer. But cheer up! I have defeated the world” (John 16:33). While we’re going through this life, it’s 100 percent guaranteed that we’ll have problems. But as Christians we need to be doing things differently and have our minds focused on things that are eternal. For we know that our home is ultimately not on this earth, and when we get to heaven, the real party’s going to start. Jesus, reassuring His disciples about all the loss and suffering that as His followers they’ve had and would have to go through, spoke these awesome words that are valid for us as well: “Yes, all of you have become my followers. And so in the future world, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, I promise that you will sit on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. All who have given up home or brothers and sisters or father and mother or children or land for me will be given a hundred times as much. They will also have eternal life. But many who are now first will be last, and many who are last will be first” (Matthew 19:28-30).

Why is it important for us as Christians to recognize and embrace these truths? Because if we’re not sold on these truths, then how will we be able to first live them out and second to tell others about them? Let me ask you a question: How well do you believe and live out these truths? Is there a difference between what you believe and how you behave? Do you need to make changes in your life? If you do, then where? Who do you need to get to help you make those changes and keep those changes up?

I want to encourage you to think clearly about your life, your view of truth, and how it affects your interactions with others in this world. As Christians we want to hold out the word of truth to non-Christians and let them drink from Jesus the life-giving water that totally quenches and satisfies their thirst for what they can’t get from others and the world.

Until next time, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at www.insightmagazine.org; or you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address printed below.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor

Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 1-770-354-2912

¹www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/05/08/teens-take-celebrity-cut-outs-as-prom-dates-darling-or-disturbing.

²Scripture quotations in this article are from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright © American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.

Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.





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