Weep with those who weep {responding to Scandal as Christians}


This week, I’ve been saddened as I watched my facebook newsfeed fill up with news about the latest Christian scandal. I’m embarrassed at some of the reactions I’ve seen from my brothers and sisters in Christ. It made me think of Harriett Oleson.

We’ve been watching a lot of Little House on the Prairie lately. I’m building our collection as the deluxe remastered editions are released, and we’re up to Season 5.

Harriett Oleson has always been bad, but in this season, she reaches a new level of just plain mean. We recently watched a new-to-us episode  called The Cheaters. Alice Garvey has been the town’s school teacher and her son Andy isn’t doing very well.

Throughout the episode, we see Mrs. Oleson “tsk, tsk” and “Oh, you must be so embarrassed.” or say things like “I just knew something like this would happen.” Her words might say she’s sorry, but her tone and expressions show us that she’s anything but. She enjoys it. She relishes in the pain of others. She just can’t wait to spread the next bit of juicy gossip.

And, sadly, that’s what I’ve seen this week coming from Christians about this scandal. I’ve seen things like,

“Well, I always knew something like this would happen.”

“I never liked that family anyway.”

“They aren’t so high and mighty now are they? They deserved to be taken down a notch.”

“I always knew they couldn’t be as perfect as they seemed.”

In the midst of these haughty, Harriett Oleson type of responses, are the hateful, judgmental responses. Yes, this is a national scandal, but I’ve seen the attitude locally as well. We are so excited to share the latest news that we forget real people are involved. I’ve seen this both in celebrity situations and in everyday life.

We just love to watch each other fall. And we love to kick one another while they’re down.

So, I turned to my Bible, and the Lord brought to my mind a single verse that summed up some of the discomfort I’ve been feeling.

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” -Romans 12:15

Weep with those who weep.

This is the heart of what bothers me. The Lord calls us to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. So often our hearts are so filled with bitterness and jealousy that we do the opposite. We are saddened when we hear of a fellow Christian’s successes, and we stand around just waiting for them to fall so that we can rejoice in it and taunt them with it.

The Lord calls us to weep with those who weep.

If there is a family–local or celebrity that is going through a scandal or trial, there is a lot of pain! There is a hurting family getting dragged through the mud as we stand on our self-righteous podiums hurling stones. We should hurt for that family. Weep with them. Put down the stones and realize it’s not our place to throw them.

We should mourn with that family. Our hearts should be broken. And we should spend so much time praying for them that we don’t have time to talk about them. 

I challenge you, the next time you are tempted to talk about a situation–pray about it instead. Get on your face before the Lord and plead with him for that situation.

I’m not talking about sweeping anything under the rug or acting like a wrong didn’t happen. This is not a matter of guilty or innocent. Some things absolutely should not happen. Actions have consequences and wrong needs to be called out in certain situations, in the right way. But I’m talking about searching our own hearts and being sure that we have an attitude that reflects God’s heart for His people.

Love does not rejoice in iniquity.


  1. says

    Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. I am not even sure who or what family you are talking about, I think it might be the 'Duggars' and the 'scandal' about Josh the oldest? If so, there is one thing all these people who call them self Christian need to think about and remember is that HE was still a child himself when he did these acts. Children have to learn right from wrong. Also, it is no surprise the family does not advertise the mistake. Who goes around advertising their mistakes? I know I am a sinner, I can not think of anything much worse than child sexual abuse, (I myself was a victim) but Josh was a kid. He confessed his mistake and he made effort to correct it.

  2. Maria says

    Thank you for this reminder of how a Christian should respond. Your Godly response is what I will aspire to do.

  3. says

    Beautiful words, Crystal! I have been praying for this dear family. The mother heart in me just breaks for the mother in this situation….oh, dear, precious Lord! Comfort them, wrap your arms of love around them, and keep them strong in You. The thing so many of us forget is this…”But for the grace of God, there go I.” If we aren’t in a severe trial, it is only because He has had mercy upon us and protected us from it. As you said, wrong is wrong, and I am not condoning sin. But, again, as you said, what is done is done, and if God has forgiven, who are we to keep holding it over someone else’s head? We have all needed mercy multiple times, and we will need it many more times before we leave this world. To gloat because of someone else’s failure and disgrace is so unlike our Lord. God help us all to treat others as we would want to be treated if we were standing in their shoes. This post was so edifying and needful. Thank you for sharing what God placed upon your heart! :)

  4. says

    I have no idea who you’re talking about, but from reading the comments here, I figured it out, I guess. The curious nosy human part of me wanted to know, but I felt that I had to comment because I was so blown away by your comment…we just love to watch each other fall. That is so true, and we often don’t even recognize that jealousy until we find ourselves smugly smirking self-righteously. Ugh. This is such a powerful post today, Crystal. I’m sharing it on FB.

  5. says

    I wholeheartedly agree with you. You're quote sums up the past few days for me, "We should mourn with that family. Our hearts should be broken. And we should spend so much time praying for them that we don’t have time to talk about them."

  6. says

    I love this article. For the past few days my heart has been breaking for their family. I am constantly reminded that we "ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" and ONLY through his grace and forgiveness do we begin to live righteously. However, most of what I have seen from people has been very judgmental, arrogant, and self-righteous. My heart is hurting for all those involved, especially the victims who I am sure have tried their best to put this behind them. I pray that God will continue to heal all involved in this situation and that his love, mercy, and grace will flow so freely from this who "scandal." Thanks again for your words of truth!

  7. says

    I love your perspective! Well done! I so agree that our only response should be to weep and pray…for all parties in this situation and others like it! Blessings from “Espressos of Faith”!

  8. says

    Very well said! If we would all just live and love like Jesus, so much finger pointing, complaining and judging would just go away! I love your words: "But I’m talking about searching our own hearts and being sure that we have an attitude that reflects God’s heart for His people." Amen!

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