Thought for the week – 03/04/22

As I write, the talk in the Davidson household is largely around Will Smith. Is it or is it not okay to hit someone for disrespecting your wife? Everyone on the news and on social media has an opinion, and my own family is no different.
For those of you who missed this riveting piece of scandal from the Oscars the salient points are as follows: Will Smith, who is a very well-known American actor, was at the Oscars, waiting to see if he had won the Oscar for which he had been nominated, when the compere made a joke at the expense of his wife who has alopecia. Will jumped onto the stage, slapped the man around the face and said, “Keep my wife’s name out of your mouth.” The compere has declined to press charges and the two have made up. Will Smith went on to win the Oscar and in his acceptance speech, whilst apologising to the audience for having caused the disruption, said that he felt he was put on this earth to protect the women around him.

And what would Jesus do?

That’s a difficult one if we look at his story. On the one hand “He gave his back to the smiters and his cheeks to them that plucked out the hair. He hid not himself from shame and spitting” and on the other hand, he over-turned the tables of the money changers in the temple and set about them with a whip saying: “It is written ‘My house shall be a house of prayer’ but you have made it a den of robbers.’” Scholars tend to see his anger as being focused on the fact that the sellers of animals and the money changers were making it very difficult for people to actually get to God. Jesus it seems was meek and mild when it came to himself, but not so much when it came to others.
For me, the most interesting thing in the whole sorry incident was that fellow actor Denzel Washington told Will Smith: “At your highest moment be careful, that’s when the Devil comes for you.” For what it’s worth, my own belief is that physical violence is rarely the right answer. However, in our own lives where we are less likely to be thumped, but where people, accidentally or on purpose, can say quite hurtful things, it is worth our while to reflect that the Jesus response is both “turn the other cheek” and also, “do not be the one to get between God and another person.” As we seek to grow our own congregations it is worth wondering whether we are sometimes less encouraging than we could be, less kind than we should be.

God bless

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