The Slap

The Slap

It has been called the “Slap heard round the world”.  Meme’s have been abundant.  For instance, “What did Chris Rock wake up with all over his face this morning?  Fresh Prints”.  Everyone seems to have an opinion.  Even OJ Simpson added his two cents.  One CNN reporter believes that the division Donald Trump caused is what has led to this kind of violence.  What we are talking about is the outburst by Will Smith, who walked on to the stage at the Oscars, and slapped Chris Rock.  Chris Rock had made an inappropriate joke about Will Smith’s wife’s struggle with health issues.

Here is what is so difficult.  Both men were definitely wrong.  Chris Rock stepped over a line that was far too lenient in the first place. Probably, according to Oscar’s unwritten rules, the only thing more insulting than the inappropriate joke, is if he did not mention her name at all.  In Hollywood there is nothing worse than being a nobody.  Will Smith was wrong for using violence to confront the wrong done to his wife.  There were several other options of solving the problem that were open to him.  But it gets more complicated when you think that both men were also somewhat right (given the context and culture).  Hosts are supposed to be cutting edge and do their best to insult the actors without going too far.  They often go way too far, but that is part of the show.  Like we said before, having your name mentioned is better than not having it mentioned.  Will Smith, who at first chuckled at the joke but then he saw his wife was hurt, allowed his emotions to overcome him.  He did what he thought was defending her honor.  Like I said, it gets complicated and thus we have talking heads spouting opinions everywhere.

I’d like to spout one more thought.  Life is messy.  Relationships can be messy.  Working with people can be messy.  Church life can be messy. Trying to handle the thousands of situations that arise from walking through life with people can be difficult and perplexing.  How can you confront people when you have been wronged and still keep the peace?  What do you do when someone steps all over your toes but you know they did not mean to do so?  How can you choose to act rather than react like Will Smith did?  If you seek the answers for these questions in the self help aisle, you will receive thousands of different answers.  People handle things differently.  What we need is a book, written by someone who truly does have all the answers. We need the written Word of God.  God, the all wise, gives answers that we could never come up with.  He knows how to confront wrong in loving ways that will be the best opportunity to grow the relationship.  He shared much of that wisdom in Proverbs but you will find these gems in every book.  We see examples of relationship principles in how Jesus walked with his disciples.  We see hundreds of principles in the letters Paul wrote to the churches.  These principles, if obeyed, will keep us from becoming the Hatfields and the McCoys.  Holding our tongue, lovingly confronting, overcoming evil with good, times when to stay away from people, letting love cover a multitude of sins, and not answering a fool according to his folly are just a few of the gems you will find in the Scriptures. They are not simply relational advice, they are eternal truths from our great Creator.  Both Will Smith and Chris Rock could have avoided their mess if they would have followed them and we can build deeper and more lasting relationships if we choose God’s wisdom over ours.

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