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Natalie Lederhouse
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November 4, 2011

Stones and Tweets and Kim Kardashian

She and I really aren't that different.

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These days, we don’t throw stones.

We tweet them. Here are a few I read today.

“Lindsay Lohan’s going back to jail for 30 days. Or as @KimKardashian calls it, “half her married life.”

“@KimKardashian hopes people respect her courage. No one respects anything about her.”

“@KimKardashian getting divorced after being married 72 days, even Stevie Wonder saw that coming.”

“@KimKardashian. (that’s the whole joke)”

“If @KimKardashian can't stay married, how can the rest of us? Oh wait, we marry for love, not publicity!”

“Thank god gay people can't legally marry each other and destroy the sanctity of what @KimKardashian did.”

...

I don’t know if you’ve heard yet, but Kim Kardashian is getting a divorce.

If you’re like me, you’ve been reading scathing tweets, articles, and Facebook posts ranging from disgust to anger to annoyance over the recently announced split.

Now, to be fair, this is a woman who’s lived her life in the public eye—by choice. She has lived, shopped, fought, dated, married, and now divorced in the eye of a media tornado. And I’m not going to say that this entire situation doesn’t smack of a publicity stunt: she made an estimated $15 million for her E! two-part wedding special, and another $3 million off her wedding photos.

Clearly, it’s naïve not to be skeptical of this divorce.

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The secular media is using Kim’s divorce as an opportunity to poke fun and induce anger at a privileged celebrity. But what I find even more alarming is that some Christians are joining in. They’re using her divorce as an opportunity to point out, once again, how full of sin and depravity our world truly is—which is true. But I’m not so sure about the way they’re doing it.

In the midst of it all, I find myself wondering what it must be like to be on the receiving end of so much media brutality.

If it were me, I’d want to find the nearest hole, crawl in, and stay there until Armageddon.

I wonder what it’s like to be Kim Kardashian when the cameras are turned off, and she’s alone. I wonder if she looks in the mirror and sees everything the media has been calling her: a joke, a failure, a whore, a spoiled brat, a sinner, an idiot . . . the list of insults goes on and on. I wonder if she has any real friends, or if she spends her time knowing that once she leaves a room, she’ll be raked over the coals. I wonder if she feels imprisoned.

When I put myself in her place, I venture that she’s heartbroken—and not just about her marriage. I wonder if she could do her life all over again, if she’d consider doing things differently. Because the truth is, Kim Kardashian is no different from the rest of us.

I think about the Gospels, and the way Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well. She’d been married five times, and was currently living with a man who wasn’t her husband. But Jesus spoke to her with respect and with love.

He didn’t make her a joke or an example.

And when the woman in John 8 was about to get stoned for being an adulteress, and the crowd was surrounding her in self-righteous anger, demanding to kill her, what did Jesus say?

“They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, ‘All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!’ Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, ‘Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?’

“‘No, Lord,’ she said.

“And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I. Go and sin no more’” (verses 7–11).

The longer I walk with Jesus, the less I identify with the angry crowd, and the more I identify with the woman he saved. I’m that woman who deserved punishment, but miraculously received grace. It brings tears to my eyes when I come to terms with what I’ve been given.

I’m no better and no worse than Kim Kardashian. The only difference between us is that I have been saved by Jesus Christ, and he is (sometimes quite painfully) working on the sickness in my heart and the emptiness in my soul. He’s teaching me that I don’t have to do life like the rest of the world. I’m no longer a slave to sin. I can now choose between sin and obedience. I have a choice. I’m free.

I don’t want to waste my freedom mocking and waving at those who are still enslaved. How does that present the love and sweet grace of Jesus to those who still don’t know him or his freedom?

I was convicted this week, realizing how judgmental I’d been about the Kardashian split, as well as how easily I judge friends in my own life.

I have a responsibility as an ambassador of Christ to issue grace freely. I don’t mean a cheap grace that ignores sin. I mean a grace that doesn’t hurl judgment at those who struggle. I—we all—need to think twice about who we tear down for our own entertainment, and even more specifically, who we tweet, Facebook, speak, or skywrite about for humor’s sake.

This goes further than making fun of celebrities—it's about how I choose to speak about close friends and acquaintances, as well. Only God knows the condition of a person’s heart. Why do I feel entitled to say anything about them at all?

Perhaps it’s time we remove ourselves from the judge’s seat, and instead, kneel down as intercessors, lifting this world back up to Christ.

What does it look like to give love and grace freely, even when we don’t think the recipient “deserves” it? How does this become a daily practice?

Related Tags: Divorce, grace, judgment, Media

Comments

Thank you for writing about her with compassion. Kim Kardashian was made in the image of God, and He longs to be in relationship with her -- and we should all treat her with the same grace and dignity Christ has shown each of us. In short, as my pastor succinctly says, "Sinners sin! Why are we surprised?" And he includes himself in that descriptor. :)

Thank you for this refreshing departure in the public discourse. We are overrun with negative, biting, destructive language. As Christians, we must walk as Christ walked and talk as Christ talked. He would never be snarky for a cheap laugh, and certainly would never heap hot coals of hateful scorn on anyone who had made some bad choices. I, for one, am grateful for that!

I find it beyond heartbreaking that so many "Christians" take the "Whoever is without sin among you, cast the first stone" out of context as a means to condone or minimize the tragedy of sin to some degree.

The part of the verse that needs to be focused on is "Go and sin no more", NOT "Neither do I condemn you". Anytime we "interpret" a Bible verse to condone, excuse, or minimize sin, we are interpreting it incorrectly. Do we know if the woman "sinned no more" and leave the man she was living with (who wasn't her husband) or not ? If so then I would "interpret" this as she condemned herself by her refusal to repent and change when given the opportunity face to face by the king of kings.

Wake up Church. Yes we LOVE sinners, but SIN put Christ on the cross. SIN is the enemy and we must "sin no more" so as to receive freedom from condemnation.

Hey Molly - surely its the whole verse that needs to be focussed on.
Why is it any more acceptable to focus on the end than it is on the beginning?
Do you know I don't think it's for us to know if she went on her way and 'sinned no more' or whether she heard Jesus and lived differently.That's surely between her and Jesus?
To my great relief I note that Jesus first freed her from condemnation and only then told her to go on her way and sin no more.
In John 3:16 Jesus says 'God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.'
Thankfully he didn't say we had to stop sinning before this could be true. Grace is his gift of unconditional love; I think Kim Kardashian could do with a little bit of that love too.

Beautifully written! Such a wonderful reminder. Thank you.

I totally agree with Jane.

Thank you Ashley, for reminding us that we are all saved by grace. We have all fallen short of the glory of God. Let us not be as the Pharisee who said that he was happy he wasn't like the man next to him at the temple. He couldn't even bring himself to look up, he beat his chest in remorse because of his sin.

I find myself repenting every single day more and more. I'm the chief of sinners along side our elder brother Paul. Lord bless you, sisters in Jesus.

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