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 that is making news today.
Here are some interesting facts she disclosed:
• She has worn more than 6,500 dresses on the show.
• She calls Pat Sajak her “work spouse,” but they tape only four days a month, so it’s an unusual friendship.
• She realized she “made it” when she saw herself on the cover of Newsweek while standing in line at a grocery store.
• She began supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital after she became a mother.
• She is now sixty years old but intends to keep working as long as she can.
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.
This is the way we should expect it to be. Satan hates our Father but is powerless to harm him, so he attacks his children. The best way to hurt me is to hurt my family. Our enemy is always a “roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He wants only to hurt us, never to help us. Thus, we can know that any offer of good from Satan must lead to a greater harm, or he would not make the proposal.
By abandoning objective moral standards, Americans are playing into our enemy’s hands. 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 we choose the long-term benefits of character over the short-term allure of temptation, others take note. The more sacrificial our integrity, the more persuasive our 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?