“What a Melt Down Means”
I know very little about Mel Gibson’s recent problems, except that he was stopped for driving with an illegitimate level of alcohol flowing through his veins, that he raged with anti-semitism when stopped, and that he appeared contrite in asking for forgiveness in national media. I know even less about his personal life – what was going on behind the scenes.
But there are some things that we do know for sure about him, us and the human race.
First we know that Mr. Gibson has been all over the map with his movies. And that movies are not real life. Thus, when he did his Lethal Weapon movies, he displayed anything but the character I want my kids to emulate. When he portrayed Braveheart, he inspired me to give myself for something beyond myself. In The Patriot and We Were Soldiers I was challenged to determine what I am willing to fight and die for. When he sacrificed and endured criticism to produce The Passion of the Christ, I wept in sorrow at my sin and the suffering Jesus went through for me. I was disappointed and refused to see What Women Want because of the huge amount of sexual content.
So who is the REAL Mel Gibson? Can’t tell by the movies.
We also know that Satan will do all he can to discount God’s truth. When Mel Gibson took on the project of making The Passion of the Christ, he placed himself in the crosshairs of the devil. Doesn’t matter whether Mel personally lives out the truth presented, the forces of the evil one were put in motion to discount in every way possible the truth presented. The criticism during the film’s release were just the tip of the ever present iceberg. It will go on as long as we continue to view the DVD. Thus that which Mel struggles with most and drove Mel to heavy drinking will be used by the enemy to make people wonder if the truth of the movie is a farce.
We know that none of us is perfect. Though I have a friend (Gary O) who claims to be, in jest. I hope. We have no idea why Mr. Gibson made these particular blunders, but we do know he is not perfect. Neither are we. And, as Augustine said after viewing a sinner caught in terrible sin, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”
Finally, most importantly and what is most disconcerting, we know that what we do comes from somewhere inside of us, regardless of the circumstances. Please don’t misunderstand me here, there are NO EXCUSES. But there are reasons. And the reasons should cause us to freeze in our tracks. We do stupid things because of what is inside of us. “Garbage in, garbage out.” It is exponentially stupid to dismiss actions with “I didn’t really mean that, it is not really me.”
Mel Gibson made a series of mistakes that led to the debacle of his ranting. It might be that he fights the feelings his dad drilled into him growing up, that he is struggling to give up alcohol, that there is conflict in his family or that he is stinging from a recent deep hurt. If any or similar conditions exist, my heart goes out to him. HOWEVER, what came out in the traffic stop was inside of him. What we do is determined by who we are. Our character is revealed in the hardest of times, when the chips are down, when the bullets are flying, when danger boils and especially when we are alone. Mel is guilty of stupidity and shameful behavior, made worse by his fame and moral claims. He needed to apologize and ask for forgiveness. He needs to get help for the root causes. He should not expect people to easily forget, but rather to earn their respect. So are we, so do we, so should we.
So here’s the important question. What stupid and shameful things are you guilty of in recent months. What does it reveal about you? Fear, faith, anger, peace, hurt, joy, worry, confidence each result in different actions. What’s inside comes out in our behavior.
Jesus said it this way…
Mat 7:16-23 (NIV) "By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"
The only hope for Mel, Gary, you and I is to get the inside changed. That’s a job only God can do and only if we turn to him with no excuses, full submission and a willingness for Him to do extreme spiritual surgery. I pray that for Mel and for you.