Archive for April 13th, 2010
The last week at the Masters found two former champions on opposite ends of the media frenzy. Both had been away from the game four or five months the last year. Both were well known and accomplished. Both had concerns at home with their wives. But the difference came down to this: the one who got most of the attention was not the one who took off time to be with his wife because of health reasons, but the one who had well publicized indiscretions.
We can rant and rave about how unfair it was for the bad news husband to get the majority of attention while the one who stayed by his wife won and garnered less attention. The media is making up for that with unrealistic characterizations of both. But the real scandal here is not with the press or the players or the hated media.
The problem is with us!
We are a culture grown fat on the feeding frenzies over fallen celebrities. We have an appetite for “reality” news which is really the tripe and crud of others — their broken lives and reputations spewed out in tabloid, celebrity brief, and pseudo-news shows.
I guess we have forgotten that gossip and slander and lumped in the same batch of sins as adultery and sexual immorality — all sins that keep us out of the kingdom of God!
I guess we have forgotten that just because we say it on Facebook doesn’t make it any less gossip or sinful. High tech doesn’t dismiss the principles Jesus commanded us to use in Matthew 18 or alleviate the gravity of talking about someone without talking to them about our concerns.
I guess we have forgotten that reading malicious tidbits of gossip are just as destructive to our spirits whether they come from National Enquirer, Us, or People.
I guess we have forgotten that to take delight, or even passing interest, in the cruel details of someone’s life coming apart is to participate and perpetuate their sin, soiling our souls and killing something precious and redemptive inside us — the work of the Holy Spirit (see Ephesians 4:30 and the surrounding context Ephesians 4:29-5:5).
So how about tonight when we say our nightly prayers, we pray for Tiger and Elin and Phil and Amy, and few folks we know that have been on the gossip clothesline in our church or school. And when we pray, let’s pray for healing and hope, renewal and reconciliation, long life and loving marriages. And while we are on our knees, let’s also pray for our forgiveness for participating in the shredding of others lives through destructive talk or delighted listening and reading about someone’s misfortunes.