I assume that you are familiar with the Chris Brown/Rihanna saga that has unfolded over the last 7 months or so? To recap, photos of a battered Rihanna shocked the music world, and as it turned out, it was her boyfriend Chris Brown who had perpetrated the violence.
Charges were made, time passed, a punishment was handed down, and now Brown has broken the silence on the Larry King show.
I'm not sure that I would ever show my face again if I were in his (very expensive) shoes…but props to the man for owning up to his mistake and getting some help for his anger management, right? And I suppose there's nothing too shocking about the same old 'celebrity-gone-bad-now-in-counseling' storyline - except something very interesting caught my eye as I read the transcript of the interview with Larry King. See if it jumps out at you:
King: What do you think caused you to be violent? I mean, you have to think about it. Everybody - we all think about ourselves - why did I lose my temper, why did I get angry over this?
Brown: I mean, that's relationships. I wouldn't say it's OK. I think, just in relationships in general, there's chances where you lose your temper or like arguments get heated or whatever the case may be…
I feel like that we're young. We're both young. So nobody taught us how to love one another. Nobody taught us a book on how to control our emotions or our anger. I'm not trying to fall on the fact that I'm young. I'm just saying it's a lot of stuff that I wish I could have changed that night.
Brown brings up an interesting idea that has a lot of people talking. To me, it sounds like he is placing some or most of the blame for his violence on the two-fold fact that he is young, and more importantly that 'nobody taught [them] how to love one another.'
Do you agree? Have you found yourself in a messed-up relational situation because no one taught you how to love?
I know I have - and probably would still find myself in those situations a lot more often if Someone hadn't came along and actually done the very thing that Brown and Rihanna apparently were missing.
Can I share it with you?
Jesus said, "This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends" (John 15:12-13).
And how did Jesus love us? By living out His definition of love: He laid His life down so we could have a relationship with God.
Here's another description of this amazing love:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
Isn't this the 'book' that Chris Brown is looking for? Isn't this how we should all treat each other? And when we actually put this into practice, our lives have many, many less moments of "I wish I could have changed that."
How can you love like Jesus loved? Well first and foremost, you need to have a relationship with Him. He died the death we should have died so we can live the life we're supposed to live! God never intended for our existence to be filled with questions like 'What was I thinking???' and 'How can I love people and be loved?'
That's why He sent Jesus!
So the first step is trusting in Jesus Christ as your only hope for this life and your life after death. And when you do, His presence and power to love others will naturally flow into your life.
If you are a Christian and you're struggling with loving others, maybe it's time to get real and honest about your relationship with Christ. Are you talking with Him every day? Are you listening to Him by reading the Bible?
And most importantly, are you sharing His message of love with all your friends who don't know Him? Even if it requires laying down your life to get that message out?
Chris Brown obviously has regrets. So let's all learn a lesson from his experience and love others as Jesus Christ loved us. It may cost us an appearance on Larry King, but what is that compared to rewards from the King of Kings?
Flashpoint: Ignite into Action
What would it mean for you to "lay down your life" for your friends? Odds are in your favor that you won't have to do this literally, but let's go there for a second. Would you run into a burning building to help rescue your friends? Most people would say "Yes," but then they are unwilling to bring up the message of salvation because it might embarrass them. This week, picture your unsaved friends as people trapped in a burning building and ask yourself - "What is the loving thing to do?"
Accelerant: Feed the Fire
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments"(Matthew 22:36-40).
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:34-35).
Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! (Romans 5:7-9).