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How Much Is Your Character Worth

March 25, 2019

Apparently to Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, about $500,000. This week the couple was taken into custody and let out on a$1 million bond each, after court documents alleged that the couple paid bribes totaling $500,000to have their kids designated as recruits to the University of Southern California crew team, despite not actually participating in the sport.

Really hard to understand. Mossimo has a fashion line at Target, and makes plenty of money on his own to support the family, pay any college bills at a good school. But the truly shocking person in the whole scandal is Lori Loughlin. She is an actress, producer, and very popular American screen figure. She has a fortune on her own. She was the wholesome Rebecca Donaldson-Katsopolis on the ABC sitcom Full House and its Netflix sequel Fuller House. She was currently beginning her fifth season on the Hallmark Channel’s When Calls the Heart. Their daughters Olivia and Bella, due largely to their connections with their parents, had successful ventures going themselves. In the wake of the scandals, however, everything has changed. Hallmark is dropping Lori, the girls have lost their contracts, and they even have dropped out of USC, the school their parents paid for them to enter illegitimately, because of the fear of bullying.

But without question, the largest costs of all this are not financial.

  • First, the cost to their children, the ones they wanted to give an easy ride. Following the alleged college admissions scandal, a source told ET that both Olivia and her sister are "devastated" and "so painfully embarrassed" by their parents' arrests.

    "It's been mortifying and frightening for them. They love their parents dearly and realize they only wanted the best for them, but they are starting to realize how very serious the charges [against] their parents are at their expense,” the source said. "[They] never expected their parents to be charged for any crime, let alone one related to them."

    "They’ve always seen themselves as a good, honest family that works hard and follows the rules, but everything has changed overnight," the source added. "The reality of all of this has been devastating.”
  • Second, the cost to their legacy and reputations.

    They had good names. They were looked up to as good, solid people. They were admired for their success and their family life. In one stupid decision, they showed their character caved under the right circumstances. Can they come back? Sure, they can still be forgiven and find direction for the future, but even if they never do prison time, their legacy has been forever altered. In people’s minds, Wikipedia, and wherever their stories are told, this failure will be highlighted.

    People expected Lori to be as good as the character she played, and the letdown is terrible. Reality can be a tough enlightenment.
  • Third, the cost to their relationships.

    Lori has often been quoted as saying that the cast of When Calls the Heart are family to her. Whenever you make BIG mistakes, okay, when you SIN greatly, most people walk away. Most people lose many, many relationships when reality shows them to be users, manipulators, shortcutters. What a loss.

We will not hit the front pages of the paper or be the lead story on the news with our character-risking decisions. But we will suffer. No question. Two things the Bible tells us are particularly pertinent:

“Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). Your choices and decisions will not be hidden forever.

“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost” (Luke 14:28). Any intelligent person needs to figure out what the cost of a decision and action is; the cost to your soul, first and foremost. Then emotionally and relationally.

Any time a desire becomes bigger than your character, the consequences are immense. Don’t be a fool. Count the cost.