Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Need Jesus
It has never occurred to me to be envious of the rich and famous. That’s because I know, “Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it.” And, “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.” And, “Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.” (Proverbs 15:16-17; 17:1)
Both riches and fame can be fleeting. Your fortune can disappear in a day while your popularity can fade overnight.
It is also a great deception to think that we can acquire happiness through possessions. As the writer of Ecclesiastes wisely observed, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10)
In the words of Jesus, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
Joy Doesn’t Come From Money or Fame
To be sure, financial provision can be a great blessing and can make a positive difference in our lives and the lives of others. But, to repeat, the abundance of possessions does not guarantee an abundance of joy or peace or inner satisfaction. No amount of money in the world can buy that.
As for being famous, all that means is that other human beings, people as fickle and as flawed as ourselves, think highly of you. That’s it.
Nothing inside you changes. Your character and real essence remain the same. Any personal problems you had before still remain. The only difference is that human opinion, for the moment, is in your favor. And that is something to strive for? That is a cause for celebration?
Some people virtually sell their souls (or bodies) for fame. This, too, is a great deception.
As for the rich and famous in general, some studies indicate that a higher percentage of them suffer from depression or substance abuse or suicidal thoughts. As noted in a 2018 article, “The recent suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade highlight how famous and successful people are more likely to suffer from mental problems than the rest of us, says a psychologist who has treated Hong Kong and China celebrities.”
As for Hollywood, how many childhood stars have grown up to have normal, healthy lives? All too few.
When it comes to Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, their very public court trials can only evoke pity. Who would want to be in their shoes today, let alone envy them? And how much happiness or love did their money and fame bring them?
Searching for Satisfaction
It could be argued that people who are highly creative and very sensitive by nature, which would include many gifted actors and musicians and artists and singers, are more prone to emotional up and downs and may not be as well-adjusted socially.
And, on some level, this might apply to people like Depp and Heard. (I’m not a psychologist nor am I trying to psychoanalyze. I’m just saying that this could be the case.)
Either way, no amount of money and no amount of popularity can take away that inner pain that gnaws away at so many of us. And no amount of drugs or booze or sex can bring true and lasting happiness.
That’s why my heart goes to people like Depp and Heard.
And that’s why, even without this messy and embarrassing trial and without their divorce, even when these stars at the top of their game, I still pity them.
A few years ago, I read that Depp was so rich that he allegedly spent $30,000 per month on wine. This was in addition to $300,000 on staff, including 40 full-time employees, $150,000 on security for himself and his family, and $200,000 for a private jet.
To quote Ecclesiastes once more, “When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes? Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10-12)
Poor, Orphaned, Christian and Content
The more famous you get, the more that other people want a piece of you. The more famous you get, the more paranoid you become, wondering who is out to hurt you. The more famous you get, the more you wonder who your real friends are.
In massive contrast with all this, I have met some incredibly poor Christians living in squalor, yet they radiated joy, they were grateful for what they had, and their marriages were truly blessed.
I have also spent time with Christian orphans who slept on concrete floors, had only their school uniforms and one set of clothes, never touched a smart phone, and never saw a movie. Yet they were some of the most content children I have ever met, and years later, they were doing very well in their marriages and working professions.
That’s why I pray that Johnny Depp and Amber Heard will truly encounter the love of God, recognizing their own sins deeply, turning to the cross for forgiveness, and receiving the Father’s grace through Jesus. How wonderful that would be!
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Revival Or We Die: A Great Awakening Is Our Only Hope. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.