By Marie Tschopp
“It is not for Kings, O Lemuel. It is not for Kings…” Proverbs 31:4 NIV
Paula Deen has an amazing story. As a divorced mother of two young boys, she started a lunchtime catering business to office workers. Because she was afraid to leave her house due to agoraphobia, her sons delivered the lunches via their bicycles. As business grew, so did Paula’s confidence. She eventually opened a restaurant and self published a cookbook. One stormy Georgia afternoon, a TV producer ducked into Paula’s restaurant to get in out of the rain. He sampled the food and bought a cookbook. And, as the cliché goes, a star was born.
Paula now hosts her own show on the Food Network. She publishes her own magazine. She sells her own line of cookware and dishes. In short, Paula Deen is an empire.
But recently, the Food Network announced it will not be renewing Ms. Deen’s contract. A former employee filed a lawsuit accusing her of racism and Paula admitted in court to using racial slurs and telling racist jokes.
Fair or not, a different standard is set for those in leadership, for the risk of loss is so much greater. Now, staff from her show, the magazine, the products, and the restaurant are at risk.
For with great privilege comes great responsibility. As Christians, we, too, are held to higher standard. We are the only Gospel some people will ever read. Our actions matter. We cannot afford to be a stumbling block that prevents someone from seeking His Kingdom.
The stakes are too high.
Heavenly Father, grant me wisdom in the way I conduct my life. May my words bring glory to You, and may my actions not cause You embarrassment in any way. When people see me, may my life reflect You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.