Many of us have been talking about the horrific Miley Cyrus performance MTV graced us with a couple of nights ago. I was one of the folks who got to watch the entire show, though not entirely by choice. I was in a restaurant enjoying the company of my daughter when this performance was shown on several surrounding television screens. I could have kept my eyes away if I’d chosen to, but I didn’t. I watched nearly every shocking moment of the act. As I did, I was flooded with emotions. Here they are: disgust, anger, and contempt. I couldn’t believe it when my daughter informed me that it was Miley Cyrus I was seeing. Did I miss something? Where’s Hannah Montana????
I fought back my mama bear instinct to run around and cover everyone’s eyes while yelling, Duck and cover! But I didn’t fight back my urge to grab my phone and send out my all-important status update to the world. After all, everyone needed to know…right then…that I thought Miley had lost her ever-lovin mind…didn’t they?
Later that night I couldn’t sleep. My feelings of anger and disgust were slowly being overtaken by heartbreak and concern. I couldn’t stop praying for Miley…for her parents. It took me a very long time to drift off.
And then I woke up the next day so burdened. Burdened for Miley. Burdened for our kids…for this hurting world, and I cried a lot…prayed a lot…and ached for a chance to get at the devil in any way I could! Let me at ‘em, Lord. I’m gonna bust his lights out.
And today…two days after…my feelings have changed yet again. Today I feel convicted.
Oh, I still feel burdened and heart-broken for Miley – wanting so much for her to be healed and loved. I still feel like I’d like to kick the devil in the butt for the garbage he is feeding our kids. But I didn’t feel that FIRST.
My first reaction was… hypocritical. Let’s not even get into all the horrific things I was doing when I was 20. I might have even made out with my teddy bear a few times in my youth. I just didn’t do all my sinning on world-wide television.
My first reaction was… prideful… “Thank you, God, that my children are not like that!”
My first reaction was… full of contempt, a step above judgmental…a feeling that the person I was watching was utterly vile.
It was God’s precious daughter toward whom I was feeling all of that. He created her. He has good plans for her – for a future and a hope. He feels the same compassion, mercy, grace, and hope for her as He does for me. Gulp.
The good news is that it only took me a few hours to get from disgust to heart-felt prayer. The bad news is it took me a few hours to get from disgust to heart-felt prayer.
I DON’T WANT THAT. I WANT TO FEEL WHAT JESUS FEELS… FIRST.
My prayer is that God will help me – help us all – to hate sin but love the sinner AT EXACTLY THE SAME MOMENT. Because there is SO MUCH harm that can be done in that period of delay. Harsh words…stupid deeds. First impressions really do matter, and we can never get them back.
So, this morning I bring sin into the light of God’s love – my own sin, that is. Father, please forgive me for my pride and contempt and unrighteous anger. It was not a good reflection of Your heart at all.
And, Miley Cyrus, you matter so much to God. He adores you. Please, please forgive me for not loving you right from the start. Forgive me for spending a few hours thinking the worst instead of hoping for the best. You didn’t need that...it didn’t help you. You can count on me to be praying for you from now on.