The spiritual lesson of Brangelina

Nick Baines has some things to say about Brangelina (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie for the culturally insulated). He’s not gossiping about their marriage. Quite the opposite.

Call me naive, but I wonder about the human beings caught up in all this. I wonder about the dehumanising abuse we heap on those we can blame for whatever it is we don’t like about our lives or the world we live in. We can project our nastiness onto those we know cannot hit back.

I look back with horror on the cringy things I have said and done throughout my life. And that is only the things I do remember – there is probably much I have forgotten. But I thank God for those who let me make mistakes and forgave me, knowing that you have to take a long-term view and allow people the freedom – the space – to grow up and change and re-shape… and not be nailed to a reputation that belongs to the past.

I think it was Jesus who said that we can only expect forgiveness if we first forgive. And I guess we can only expect kindness and generosity if first we practise the discipline of being kind, generous and spacious to those we know to be failing. If we want a humane society, shouldn’t we first be prepared to live humanely?

Couldn’t agree more. The same principal applies, by the way, to that struggling couple who sits across from you in church, to that co-worker who has something going on, or to your neighbors. Sure, maybe you should offer help, if you know folks well enough. Generosity with people is always a good idea. But idle gossip, speculation, or sensational talk? There’s no place for it.

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