Ever noticed that when we find someone we like, we overlook his or her faults?
I realize that sounds like a Christian virtue—not holding a person’s sins against them—and that is true to a point. We must show forgiveness, compassion, and mercy, but those Christlike qualities do not ignore the importance of justice.
I’m talking about a different way of overlooking faults.
Let me give you an example. On May 23, 1934, a charming, charismatic couple were ruthlessly gunned down in broad daylight. They were mourned by the masses that had grown fond of them. After all, the couple’s photos were often in the papers, and her poems were frequently published. They were almost treated like martyrs, because of their independence and idealism.
Bonnie and Clyde were loved. Never mind that they were ruthless killers and inept crooks. They were violent—unpredictably violent—but the fact that their gang killed 13 people in a short span of time is often overlooked in the culture’s quest to romanticize the couple.
Thanks to Hollywood, we still think fondly of Bonnie and Clyde, The movie is almost 50 years old, but we still see Bonnie and Clyde as the extremely attractive couple Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway in the highly romanticized 1967 movie of their lives.
Consider how many popular movie characters are actually the protagonist (i.e., the bad guy.) In the late 70s, the ultimate bad guy was Darth Vader along with his band of merry sidekicks, the Storm Troopers. For years, I don’t remember anyone making a big deal over him like they did Luke Skywalker, Hans Solo, or even those disgustingly cute Ewoks.
But now Dart Vader is cool.
Yes, Darth Vader is fictional, but do you see my point?Just because you’re the bad guy and blew up an entire planet of people doesn’t mean you can’t be cool and well-liked.
I’d like to see us make heroes of people who are known for their love and compassion, people who stand for both grace and justice.
Maybe I should strive to be that person.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Phil. 4:8).