“In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world.”

“I want to be an ambassador of that kind of love and care and concern.”

“I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people.”

“It’s about being able to shine a light on all of the people.”

These are statements that Will Smith made during his Oscar acceptance speech just moments after he assaulted and cursed at Chris Rock on live national television. If you’ve turned on a TV or logged into social media at any point since then you’ve probably heard about it (and are likely tired of hearing about it). While I normally make it a point to refrain from mentioning events that we hear about the news, I want to make an exception in order to make this point: What Will Smith showed us at the Oscars isn’t love.

The irony is that Chris Rock (who was just as wrong because of the comments that he made about Jada Smith’s medical condition, and who is by no means a Disciple of Jesus) reacted in a more Christ-like way than Mr. Smith did. In a way, he demonstrated for us first-hand Jesus’ teaching to His disciples in Matthew 5:38-39: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

What was perhaps the most concerning is the standing ovation that Will Smith received just minutes after he assaulted Chris Rock. That is just another reminder to us that our twisted, morally bankrupt society has no idea what agape love is. That also should serve as a reminder to Christians that we have a job to do! We are called to be light. Not people who shed the kind of light that Will Smith did a few weeks ago, but the kind of people who love our neighbors, forgive those who wrong us, and who turn the cheek whenever we’re harmed.

I’ll leave you with one more quote from Will Smith’s acceptance speech. It’s some advice that Denzel Washington gave him during the few minutes between his outburst and his award acceptance: “At your highest moment, be careful. That’s when the devil comes for you.”

In Christ,
Jonathan Anderson