What Drives Celebrities to Self-Destruct?

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Published on: August 25, 2015

“For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do” – Romans 7:19.

Jared Fogle, longtime pitchman for Subway, and Josh Duggar, star of TLC Network’s “19 Kids and Counting,” are two of the latest celebrities to publicly self-destruct.

Jared, who reportedly dropped 245 pounds by eating at Subway twice a day, has admitted, according to court documents, to having sex with at least two minors and obtaining child pornography involving 12 others.

Fogle’s wife, Kate, said she’s in the process of seeking dissolution of their marriage. Jared and Kate have a 1-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son.

Jared has a net worth of $15 million after serving as Subway’s brand ambassador since 2000, according to an estimate from Celebrity Net Worth.

From the outside, it appears Jared had a great life. What caused him to throw it all away?

The same question could be asked of Josh Duggar. TLC suspended his family’s series after Josh, the oldest son, publicly apologized for having “acted inexcusably” following reports that he had fondled five girls – including two of his sisters – when he was around 14 years old, before the series started airing.

Now Josh is embroiled in a new situation. The Ashley Madison website allows people to cheat on their spouse in secret. But hackers broke into the site and posted details of cheaters reported by another site called Gawker. Josh Duggar’s name was on that list.

“I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the Internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife,” said Josh. He and his wife, Anna, have four children.

Because the Duggars’ former series “19 Kids and Counting” dealt with their devout Christian lifestyle and Josh was a spokesman for FRC Action (affiliated with the Family Research Council), he has become a target of anti-God haters. From the Gawker website:

“It just gets better. This hack is gonna be so amazing!”

“I’m feeling guilty for being so excited.”

“No one is entitled to hypocrisy.”

One of the worst things a person can do is rejoice when their fellow man stumbles. Should he fall and you rejoice, you’ll regret it. Your fall will be greater. We should pray for one another instead.

Jared and Josh have clearly hurt themselves, their wives and their children through their actions, and, yet, no one wants to hurt their families in this way. What drove them to it?

From my 25 years of counseling men and families, I can tell you that some spiritual trauma happened in their lives that they resented and never let go of. Now they’re attracted to the very thing they hate, but they cannot help themselves, because they don’t realize what’s driving them.

These two men – who seemed to have had everything and yet threw it away – are not unusual among celebrities. Brian Williams, for instance, lost his high-status, high-paying anchor job at NBC after lying about supposed exploits while he was covering news.

But this problem is hardly limited to celebrities.

Every human being is being driven by a spirit of good or evil. If we’re honest, we will admit that something is driving us to do the things that we don’t want to do. Do you smoke, drink too much, overeat, lie, cheat or steal?

Do you yell at your children, or spoil them? If so, you are destroying them. And you are not in control. The more you try to stop what you’re doing, the deeper you will get into it.

Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me” –Romans 7:20.

We must realize that, of ourselves, we cannot fight this spirit. If we see that we cannot defeat this power on our own, then God will replace this spirit with His spirit. But if we hate what is happening to us, we will get worse – because we are giving life to the evil spirit that has made a home inside of us.

Society perverts us from the time we are children, and then beats us up for being perverted! As an adult, especially if you are a role model, you should expect this. The world is controlled by the prince of darkness. He perverts to destroy.

“For we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but against principalities, rulers of this world” – Ephesians 6:12.

If we can understand what is driving us, it will prevent us from judging (condemning) our fellow man.

God has made it clear that we should seek first the Kingdom within and His right way; then all things will be added. When you truly put God first, you will overcome whatever dark spirits have made a home in you. You will be born again with a new nature.

The spirit that causes celebrities to self-destruct is the same spirit that causes us to self-destruct. If we can understand this simple principle, we will have compassion on our neighbor, and God will set us free.


Pre-order Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson’s book, “The Antidote: Healing America from the Poison of Hate, Blame, and Victimhood.”

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