Chris Brown & Our Inner Toddler

22 Feb

The Apostle Paul had to deal with some really horrifying situations in the church.  At one point, Paul had to confront the sin of INCEST in the Corinthian church.  Ummm…I think I’d rather deal with the typical things I see in my church on most days.  Suddenly, arguing over the volume of our worship service sounds AMAZING!

1It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? 3 For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. 4 So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh,[a][b] so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.

This passage is eerily familiar to me.  It feels like I just dealt with a situation like this.  Wait…I do this almost every day.  Let me explain…

Last night during my daughters’ bedtime rituals, I was standing behind all three of them while they were starting to brush their teeth.  Mia & Ava were being relatively compliant, but Hannah was taking her time.  Just as I was about to tell Hannah that in order to brush her teeth, she actually needed to put the toothbrush in her mouth, she put the toothbrush WITH toothpaste on top of Mia’s head!

I said, “Hannah!!!  Don’t put your toothpaste in your sister’s hair!!!”  She slammed her toothbrush down and said “FORGET IT!  I’m going to bed and I’m NOT brushing my teeth!”  She ran straight for her bed and threw herself down with an impressively teen(ish)-styled pout.

I knew that I couldn’t let her get away with that, even though I was tired and it seemed easier to NOT confront the ridiculous behavior.  I ordered her back into the bathroom, and she brushed her teeth angrily, then I told her to go back to her bed all alone.

We put Ava & Mia to bed, then closed their door, and walked quietly by Hannah’s bed and I heard a faint little voice say “I’m sorry, Dad.”  I walked over to her bed and I asked her what she had said.  She said “I’m sorry that I acted so mean.”

I sat on the bed with her and I asked her if she knew why I had to separate her from the rest of the family.  She said this:

Because if you don’t punish me, then I won’t learn right from wrong.

My 8 year old daughter understands that what the Apostle Paul taught the Corinthian church is RIGHT.  Sin is not to be messed with.  Sin affects everyone around.  Sin is never an isolated event (Romans 5).  And when someone persists in doing wrong, they must be REMOVED from their community.  Dealing with children looks a lot like dealing with adults that continue to do wrong, too.

Just over a week ago, Chris Brown performed twice at the Grammy’s.  Three years ago, Chris Brown beat his then girlfriend, Rihanna so badly that her face was black and blue.  Chris Brown took his time in responding, then issued the standard Hollywood-fashioned non-mea culpa and did several lackadaisical and in my estimation, unfeeling interviews.  He even got so angry just last year when asked on GMA about his newly relaxed restraining order that he stormed out of his interview, and went back to destroy his dressing room.

When people are valued for their celebrity more than for their humanity, they will never gain their integrity.

Chris Brown can be forgiven for what he did.  But if he doesn’t receive a punishment that really impacts him deeply, he’ll never walk in the freedom of the grace of a second chance.  Why?  Because just like when we fail to punish a child for acting out, Chris Brown will never learn right from wrong unless he experiences the pain that comes from being isolated, instead of celebrated.

Last night, my daughter learned that there are necessary consequences that she will experience when she acts out in negative ways.  She also knows that those happen for her good.

Chris Brown can change, too.  But I’m convinced he won’t change if he doesn’t experience those same consequences.  Hollywood doesn’t love Chris Brown.  If they did, he’d never have been the star of this year’s Grammy’s.  I’m praying that someone who really does love him will tell it to him straight.

 

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