Terrorists, Movie Stars, Bullies…and Us

Nasim A

Nasim Aghdam was apparently upset with YouTube.

So, she went to the YouTube headquarters and shot 3 employees, before taking her own life.

What was she upset about? Apparently, she believed that YouTube was ‘censoring’ her posts, restricting the number of people who saw her.



Apparently she was so committed to becoming a ‘YouTube Star’ that, when she perceived interference with that goal, she resorted to violence and ultimately, suicide.

Suicide? For YouTube popularity?!

Now,  I’m not going to go to the Gun Control debate…that is for another day.

However, I do think we can learn something from her, as well as many of the other mass shooters in recent years.

Many of them have in common this phenomena: They are fixated on other people’s opinions of them. 

In fact, they are so fixed on others’ opinions, that it causes them to lash out when others do not accept them, agree with them, etc. In these cases, they’ve resorted to extreme and deadly means to lash out. (Ironically, that’s the only reason most of us have ever heard of them.)

However, I believe that we all have that within us…and we need to correct ourselves!

Anyone who’s ever written a blog that gets just a few views knows how defeating that can be.

On the other hand, anyone who’s made a post on Facebook or put a Tweet on Twitter that has been ‘liked’, ‘shared’ or ‘re-tweeted’ many people will know how intoxicating that can be.

It feels good to have our opinions ‘liked’ and ‘shared’ by others!

…but when we start to give the power to those ‘likes’, ‘shares’, ‘views’ and ‘retweets’ to define us and convince us that we are worth paying attention to, we’ve given the opinions of others way too much power over ourselves.

We hear a lot today about the devastating effects of bullying.

I agree, bullying is bad, and can be very harsh and difficult to deal with. As one who dealt with it in the past, I know it can be difficult.

But one part of the reason that ‘the bully’ has so much power over us is that we’ve given too much influence to other people over how we view ourselves. This is an unwinnable situation. After all, no one–whether a popular movie star, or ‘the Sexiest Man/Woman on Earth’, or the most popular Athlete, Politician, etc.–can ever stay that way forever.

That means that, at some point, their body is going to change, someone more popular will come along, or they’ll say something offensive to someone, and popular opinion will turn against them.

That’s when they become desperate.

Think of the tabloids: We see actors who ‘used to be’ very popular often doing desperate, degrading, and even dangerous things in order to be thrust back into the limelight. Apparently in their minds, Some’ attention–even negative–is better than ‘No’ attention. 

No matter whether we’re famous or living in relative anonymity, we cannot give ‘the power of my self-worth’ to the acceptance of the masses.

That is a big part of the reason I’m thankful that I know that my reason for existence, my purpose, and my worth lie in the fact that I am a creation of God!

As the Scriptures say,

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.” (Psalm 139:13-16)

God made me! He is the One who gave me my very own fingerprints. He knows the uniqueness of my eyes…He knows me better than I know myself!

In addition, I am ‘adopted’ as His child because of my faith in Jesus!

“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:15-16)

If we are going to get our ‘self-worth’ from anyone, it should be our Creator and God–who made us, loves us, and sent His son, Jesus, to pay for our sin, so that we could be ‘adopted’ by faith in Him!

His kind of love doesn’t change–no matter how many ‘likes’ or ‘views’ we get, no matter what happens to our waistline or hairline, no matter how ‘popular’ or well-known we are.

God created You! God loves You! God wants to give you eternal life, full life, and a life of meaning and purpose.

Jesus said “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

We buy into the lies of the enemy when we believe that our ‘worth’ lies in the opinions of others. The Truth–which gives life–is this: Your WORTH comes from God, your heavenly Father!

He loves us more than we could possibly imagine!

No matter what.

Published by Pastor Dave Johnson

Follower of Jesus, Husband to Lori, Proud Father to 6 great kids, Co-Pastor of Kalamazoo Community Church. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan.

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