Dr. Jim Denison
Vanna White has been turning letters on Wheel of Fortune for more than three decades. As the show prepares to celebrate its thirty-fifth season this September, she gave an interview to Fox News.
Here are some interesting facts she disclosed:
The reporter asked if she regrets posing for Playboy years ago. She explained: "When I first moved to Hollywood, I was too embarrassed to ask my dad for rent money. I was young and I wanted to do it on my own. So, I did these lingerie shots and from the moment I said I would do them, I thought, 'I shouldn't be doing this, but I'm not going to ask my dad for money, so I'm just going to do it!' Once I got Wheel of Fortune and some fame, Hugh Hefner then bought those pictures. He's the one who put me on the cover of the magazine. I didn't do it for Playboy. I didn't want them on there, but it happened."
Vanna White made some money she spent many years ago, but she will regret her decision for the rest of her life. Her experience illustrates perfectly the paradox of temptation and integrity. Temptation seems to benefit more than it costs at first, but its disastrous consequences always outweigh their reward. Integrity usually costs more than it benefits at first, but its positive consequences always outweigh their cost.
There was a day when many would refuse temptation on the grounds that its promised reward was simply wrong. Illegal drugs were wrong because they were illegal; lying and sex outside of marriage were wrong because the Bible said so.
Today it's conventional wisdom that all morals are personal and subjective. We are taught to tolerate all consensual behavior that doesn't hurt someone else. But to quote Dr. Phil, "How's that working for us?"
The crisis of immorality is, however, an opportunity for the church. When Christians choose the long-term benefits of character over the short-term allure of temptation, others take note. The more sacrificial their integrity, the more persuasive their witness.
Theologian Lyman Abbott noted that "every life is a march from innocence, through temptation, to virtue or vice." Which destination will you choose today?•