Shaun White won gold in a thrilling halfpipe finale at the Winter Olympics Tuesday night. By Wednesday morning, however, his dramatic feel-good victory was tainted by news reports of sexual harassment in his recent past. Some writers were blistering in their condemnation both of Shaun White and of NBC’s neglect to highlight the sexual harassment in their television coverage of White’s Olympic quest.
It seems like half the sports stories these days are more about personal misbehavior than sporting events themselves. It’s not just athletes who are in trouble. Announcers are not immune. Misdirected humor or careless slips of the tongue into a microphone have come back to bite them big in the backside. In some cases it has cost sports commentators their jobs.
The pendulum in society is swinging hard from silence to retribution regarding both personal and professional faults. Many people feel as if they are increasingly balancing their lives along the edge of a knife.
If you are in need of grace, I’ve found some and want to share it with you. Yesterday I happened to land on a powerful blog post, Our Problem with Grace, by Michael Spencer, the Internet Monk. Spencer, who died in 2010, was a champion of grace.
Here’s an excerpt:
I’ve thought a lot about grace as I’ve gotten older and lived the Christian life longer. I see and hear young, fired up, Pentecostal preacher boys, full of sermons about what will happen if we will pray more, live holy lives, get extreme, go the distance and all that fizz. It doesn’t get to me anymore. I am slowly living past the point of being affected by all the rah-rah Christianity around me.
I know I am not very obedient. I know my sinful patterns and my perennial laziness. I know where I fall short. I am well acquainted with my lusts, my pettiness and my stupid pride. I may make more progress on these things, but honestly, I doubt it. My efforts at obedience have about run their course. Most of what I am going to be as a human being living as a Christian on this planet, I’ve probably already achieved. I want all the years God has for me, and I want to honor and glorify him, but if I am going to learn about grace, now is the time. I need it now.
Spencer’s blog entry is old, but the message is refreshing and timely. We can soak in grace rather than sour in retribution. You can find the entire post at the link below: