For the last couple of weeks I have been watching the show Friday Night Lights. The show is filmed in Texas and it is like a soothing balm to a homesick heart. The landscape is very similar to the terrain found in Oklahoma. I love the accents, the simple homes, the rapidly changing weather, and the country people in the show. However, there is one part of the show that I find intriguing enough to discuss on a blog.
In an earlier season the lead running back, Smash, decides to experiment with steroid use. He knowingly begins injecting himself with illegal narcotics and keeps it secret from his family. Eventually his mother finds out and confronts the coach. The coach then threatens to report Smash to the proper authorities. All of this is typical television drama. When all of the characters hopes of a NFL career and a scholarship to college seem to be disappearing he comes at his mother. The character accuses his mother of destroying his future. Now who destroyed his future? His concerned mother or his decision to use drugs illegally?
In Season 3, the coach and his wife witness a parent beating up his son in the parking lot. They run to help and provide shelter to the wife and child. However, both the coach and his wife are educators and are required by law to report the incident to Child Protective Services (CPS). They consider not reporting it, but as it happened in the parking lot of a crowded restaurant in view of dozens of families, that simply is not an option. Eventually the coach and the wife have to come to terms with the family. The friendship between the two women involved is destroyed. The wife of the abuser says that she wants nothing more to do with the coach’s wife. She is angry about the parenting classes and the unnanounced visits by CPS. Who is really to blame for the visits and the classes, the coach and his wife or the father beating his son in the parking lot? Who should she really have trouble forgiving, the woman that provided shelter and comfort to her and her son or the man who was beating her child?
This is a scenario that is usually repeated in popular television drama? The question of accountability is just not popular in current societal views. The idea of blaming a stranger or a relative for your problems is considered the norm. However, scripture doesn’t speak of it. David is a man after God’s own heart, and what kind of behavior does he model? Was he sinless? Absolutely not. When David was caught in his sin with Bathsheba he fell before the Lord in repentance. He took the sin as his own and repented.
The Bible tells us that we need to acknowledge our sin and repent before God to be forgiven. We cannot blame those around us for our bad choices and expect resolution. We all feel convicted for the sins in our life, but it is only by confessing those sins to a loving God that we can ever be resolved. Otherwise we continue to be covered in it. We cannot be washed clean in the blood of Christ until we repent of our sinful life and turn towards Him with an open heart. Repentance cannot occur until we own and acknowledge our sins.
Matthew 4:17 NIV
From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
Acts 2:38 NIV
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 3:19 NIV
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,
In the show a football player makes a choice that results in the death of another person. Justifiable or not, the man died. Led astray by some bad advice and the writing of television drama, the boy does not call the police. They hide the body. The body may be hidden but the sin remained. The boy becomes tormented by his sin to the extent where he can find no rest. He speaks to a Christian teen minster who tells him of the peace of Christ, and how the truth will set him free. The boy’s torment is resolved when he confesses of his sin and repents. He confesses to the authorities ready to accept punishment, because the torment is worse. So is our torment when we deny our sins and try to hide them.
God is perfect and merciful. He wants His children to turn from sin and embrace Him. He loved us so much that he sacrificed Himself for the forgiveness of sin. We are washed clean in the blood of Christ, but only if we can acknowledge that we have sinned and repent.
Revelations 3:19 NIV
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.