Almost two weeks ago, NBC Today hosts broke the news about Matt Lauer’s inappropriate sexual behavior after Variety magazine conducted a two-month-long investigation that revealed details of sexual harassment claims of three colleagues. And Lauer has admitted that while some degree of alleged mischaracterization exists, “there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed.”
Visibly shaken, long-time co-host Savannah Guthrie admitted she was “grappling” with the information about Lauer. “How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly?” she asked.
This is really a question for all of us, isn’t it?
Later on Today, Kathie Lee Gifford referred to the betrayal she experienced 20 years ago when she learned of her late husband’s highly publicized affair. She spoke of the natural questioning that takes place when a person experiences such a shocking revelation: “You say, ‘Was everything a lie?’ … And I think we have to fight against that.”
I texted [Matt] this morning and said I adore you. No person is perfect in this world – nobody is. We’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, is what Scripture says. And what we need now is forgiveness. And we need mercy for one another. And we don’t need taunts, and we don’t need ugliness. We have enough of that in the world.
She went on to express her love for the unidentified victim who came forward at NBC:
May God heal that person. I send [my love] to Matt, and his children, and his wife. May God bless that family and heal … and heal.
[I]n in my long life, there’s only thing I’ve been sure of, and it’s that only God can heal it. Only God can heal it. And there’s no bad time to reach out for His help – no bad time. … We are all so broken, and we need somebody to put us back together. And it’s possible. It’s so possible. I’m living proof of that.
The sexual accusations are flying around like World War II fighter jets during an air-to-air combat battle. As we watch from media screens, we quickly defend our own men and take shots at the others. Whether Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, right or left, or anywhere in between, it is difficult to be objective when we are at war.
But maybe, as Christians, we tend to become confused about the war. After all, we do not wrestle against flesh and blood enemies. Our war is spiritual. “We wrestle against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Our war is against the adversary, the devil who prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). And to accomplish his wicked and cruel desired result, he “disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). Oh, how lovely sin can appear. How easy it is to fall prey to its lustrous demands. But the Devil, the tempter, “is a liar, and the father of lies” (John 8:44).
So found Lauer. In the wake of the devastation, he stated:
There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC. … Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching, and I’m committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full-time job. The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It’s been humbling.
Satan’s war is against every man, woman, and child, regardless of his or her political or religious label, or lack thereof. And fall prey, we do. There is one answer to the dilemma we each face.
“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). There is an answer for Matt Lauer’s humiliation, an answer for his flaws, for his brokenness. There is an answer for those qualities in each and every one of us.
I was convicted when I watched Gifford’s heartfelt expression of the gospel. Rather than jumping to the defense of one or taking shots at the other, I know I could do a better job of keeping my view of the real war in proper perspective.
Satan has been wildly successful in accommodating the flesh of men and women through illicit sex. It’s an age-old tactic because it works. But in the end, the result is always the same: destruction.
In light of the widespread exposure, many could experience the kind of sorrow God desires to see – the kind that leads away from sin and results in salvation (2 Corinthians 7:10).
Ephesians 5:12-14 says:
It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, ‘Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.’
This war in the air could lead our country to repentance – to revival.