The news world was shocked this morning to learn of the firing of Matt Lauer from the popular Today Show on NBC. After 20 years on the job, Lauer was dismissed after a female staff member came forward with the allegations of sexual misconduct against Lauer that occurred in 2014 at the Winter Olympics in Russia. NBC immediately investigated, and apparently found enough evidence to act, and terminated Lauer’s contract. Apparently the woman went to the Human Resources of NBC to make her complaint instead of going to the media with a “big scoop” that is more and more becoming an unfortunate repetition in this country. After all, she, and other women, have lives and reputations to protect as well.
Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, both on-air colleagues of Lauer, were visibly shaken and upset with the news which they learned just a short while before they went on air for the Today Show.
Kotb and Guthrie both expressed sadness not only for Lauer, but also for the victim who bravely came forward.
Kotb said “It’s hard to reconcile with what we are hearing with the man who we know, who walks in this building every single day.”
And that becomes the question: How DO we reconcile past actions of one we have come to know and respect and love? How can we continue to see them in the way we have come to know them?
When we consider reconciliation we have to look at some things that are completely foreign to the news world.
One is owning your actions; being responsible for what you say and do, and stop thinking you don’t have to worry about being responsible for what happens to other people. Everything we say and do is going to effect someone else sooner or later, and it will ALWAYS effect ourselves, sooner or later. It’s inevitable, no matter how much you deny it. Every word and action has a consequence.
That brings up another thing: Forgiveness. As important and necessary as forgiveness is, it does not always eliminate consequences. Consequences may last for a few minutes, like sending our child to their room for misbehaving, or it may last for years (or a lifetime) like being sent to prison for murder. Yet even in that forgiveness is available.
Sometimes it is the consequences we face that make us realize we need to be forgiven; we need to ask for forgiveness from the ones we have hurt, and at the same time we need to accept the consequences we have caused to fall upon our self.
People can– and do — change. Change can come from being forgiven and forgiving others. Does that mean this woman should have just forgiven Matt Lauer and not come forward? Not at all. That is HER decision, a decision that may bring her a very needed sense of peace and justice. But by forgiving Lauer, she may gain an even deeper sense of peace and self-worth. That is a lot easier said than done. It does not remove any guilt from Lauer.
The Bible calls wrong-doing sin. It tells us that NO ONE is sinless, and we ALL fall short of the Glory of God (His expectations of us). Yet God provided a way to forgive us our sin. It says if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves. But if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just, and will forgive us.
God has made reconciliation with Him possible through Jesus Christ His Son, showing us that even though we do wrong things that bring consequences, we can still find forgiveness, and when our friends and loved ones do wrong, we can find it within ourselves to forgive them.
Reconciliation: Admit wrongdoing; accept the consequences; seek forgiveness, forgive others, and with God’s forgiveness, forgive ourselves.