“Love does not rejoice in evil, but rejoices with the truth.” Hmmm… As I hash it around and digest the substance of that Bible verse, I feel queasy. Lately, I’ve rejoiced in evil… a lot.
News of Osama Bin Laden’s death initially propelled me into a curious/celebratory mood. I felt compelled to search google, listen to the President’s Speech, search google some more, and tune into the latest on NPR, all the while feeling way too excited. And then I stopped. “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” came to mind instantly.
I peered at my soul in the proverbial mirror and was disgusted with the pattern of thinking that I have chosen. For the last few years, a vast amount of my internet searching and youtube viewing has centered around bad things happening to bad people and famous personality’s failing. I recently viewed Rebecca Black’s horrid music video, “Friday.”
I snickered at the video. I mocked her and her mother’s interview with CBS. And I couldn’t breathe after gut-laughing through some of the parodies including my favorite, “Saturday.” The joke was on me though, because the next day I found myself singing the lyrics at home, in the store, and on the treadmill in Planet Fitness.
Osama Bin Laden’s death and Rebecca Black’s terrible music are admittedly on two totally different levels, but they’ve revealed a flaw in me. I, like many of you, find entertainment in seeing people fail. My natural instinct leans toward rejoicing in evil. “Failing is the New Winning” was the title of an article that I recently ran across on the wordpress homepage. I didn’t read the article, but the title accurately sums up an ongoing trend in me and many of my friends.
We savor juicy bits of “information” about the latest superstar divorce or breakup. We search incessantly for “FAIL’s” on youtube or on the FAILblog. We LOL at the latest skateboarder to crush his crotch on a rail. Or the guy who can’t dance worth a dang trying to make it huge on youtube. I mean, America bought 50,000 William Hung cd’s because he sucks at singing. Yup, failing is the new winning, and sucking is the new succeeding.
I’m not usually a conspiracy theorist, but I genuinely wonder if Rebecca Black and her agency were just out to make a buck off the “FAIL” culture. By maintaining a serious and sincere story about how they really think their song is amazing, they generate more publicity and thousands of dollars of revenue from all of the suckers who are buying her song for the sole purpose of making fun of her.
On the Osama front, I’m glad that President Obama didn’t release the “death” pictures. Far too many people would have been morbidly obsessed with it, maybe, including me. I know perfection escapes me in every area of life, but this “rejoicing in evil” blind spot equals a gargantuan failure on my part. I’m glad that the opportunity for redemption is a free gift because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
He’s the same Jesus who said, “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
Is Jesus out in the streets waving American flags and celebrating the death of a hell bound person that led an extremely evil life? Does he lead us to morbidly google events surrounding Bin Laden’s death?
On the Rebecca Black/FAIL blog front: Is Jesus leading us to mock and laugh at her in our spare time? And do you think He leads us to spend hours browsing through the “FAIL” Blog?
If you answered, “No,” to these questions, I agree with you. If you answered, “Yes,” I’m not sure we’re thinking of the same Jesus.
Next time you catch yourself laughing at someone’s failure or rejoicing in someone’s death, stop! Because soon after, you’ll realize that it’s you who has failed.