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CBN.com I don’t know Mel Gibson. I met him once for an interview during the promotion of The Passion of the Christ marketing blitz. My “read” of him then was that he was sincere about his personal faith and that he really was the right guy to make the movie. He’s talented, feisty, and gutsy.
He took a lot of flak for the making of the film, but didn’t back down. Now he’s taking some hits again but this time it’s for getting busted for driving drunk and for purportedly making derogatory remarks about Jews to the arresting officer.
Mel has apologized in a public statement for his actions and his words and his publicist says Gibson is in an ongoing recovery program for the disease of alcoholism that has dogged him for years. That and his mouth.
Well what’s new? Welcome to this disordered mess of struggling humanity.
Years ago another feisty guy named Paul talked about his own personal struggles. He put it this way:
“Sin (a politically incorrect word) did what sin is so famous for doing: tempting me to do what would finally destroy me. Yes, I’m full of myself. I decide one way, but then act another, doing things I absolutely despise. I obviously need help! I can will it but I can’t do it. I decide not to do badly, but then I do it anyway. Something has gone wrong within me and gets the better of me every time. Parts of me covertly rebel and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me?” (Romans 7)
A few weeks ago I had a blow out with my wife. If anyone can push my hot buttons its Nedra. She pushed and I reacted. I was personally surprised at my reaction and conduct; it was a defense mechanism. Later when I calmed down and had time to reflect, I recognized I had been wrong. I prayed and told God I was sorry and then went to Nedra and apologized. She forgave me, and we then discussed what might be at the root of my anger.
What I recognize is what Paul recited in his very honest self confession. We are two people, and Paul calls it the old nature and the other the new nature; hence the conflict.
“In this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and my mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin,” and if you don’t like that word Paul went on to parse it for us: (and you’d better duck)
“Trying to get our own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all consuming-yet-never satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.” (Galatians 5)
No please don’t.
So to answer Paul’s, Mel’s or Scott’s question, or anyone else who might be on that list, “I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me?”
Yes, there is.
“With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. You are freed from a fatal lifetime of brutally tyranny, and God leads us out into the open… into a spacious, free life.” (Romans 8)
I’m just glad my transgression wasn’t caught on camera and broadcast to a watching world.
God help Mel Gibson and God help us everyone.
* All Bible verses are taken from Eugene H. Peterson's The Message Bible
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