The image of a child star in trouble is hardly new. Lindsay Lohan’s story has all the familiar elements: a dysfunctional upbringing, self-destructive patterns and an entourage of seedy characters. In Lindsay’s case the final outcome has yet to be decided unlike the stories of River Phoenix, Dana Plato and more recently Corey Haim.

The Lohan case should prompt a meaningful discussion on how to preempt another loss of a talented but tormented celebrity.

The following are thoughts pertaining to Lindsay Lohan and the culture that enables her:

1. Enablers including family, friends, and the Hollywood industry should be held accountable.
2. Celebrities are not above the law and are increasingly less likely to be excused for ignoring it.
3. Bad company reaps bad character.
4. An industry that encourages former Disney stars toward soft porn and abandons them when in trouble deserves to be scrutinized.
5. Fame carries with it responsibility and should never be an end unto itself.
6. Emotional pain is at its core a cry of the heart.
7. Alcoholics Anonymous has a proven record of success and touts a spiritual awakening as the answer.
8. Healing begins with humility.
9. Transparency opens doors once locked by alibis and rationalizing.
10. History is filled with examples of individuals who parlayed their lowest moments into their greatest victories.

Lindsay Lohan will take her first step toward recovery when she takes full responsibility for her actions but the larger indictment should be levied on an industry and culture that promotes dubious values and then abdicates responsibility when people live out those values. As long as there is a reward for bad behavior there will be those who seek to cash in often with tragic results.

It is no longer acceptable to blame all of this on the “childhood star curse.” As stated in the scriptures, “Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Rev. Bill Shuler is pastor at Capital Life Church in Arlington, Virginia. For more, visit CapitalLife.org.

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