You may know Jenny’s story better than I do, but it’s familiar to all of us. Jenny was not only pretty but talented and drew lots of attention from admirers during junior high and high school. She never lacked for boyfriends, opportunities or invitations to parties.
You know where this is going. The parties became an obsession. First it was the drinking (“Everybody does it,” she reasoned. “Harmless.”) Then she sampled some pot. Eventually her family was devastated to hear she was hooked on meth, making bizarre upsetting decisions.
Their once-beautiful daughter was skeletal, eyes sunk deep in her face and a twitch wracking her hands. While they raged, she digging herself deeper into addictions and a bad batch of friends.
Once the "Jennys" were the backstreet junkies but now they are the cheerleader, the quarterback, the poet. Maybe they’re in the youth group or at our family reunion.
What to do? I’m not trained as a counselor and I don’t run a detox unit. But in crisis, I can stand up for troubled youth, supporting them in love and prayer and directing them to resources equipped to help them.
I remember well Paul’s words to the Romans, who were disgusted with the sensual lusting of others: “Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself.” (Romans 2:1 The Message)
To a woman caught in the act of adultery, Jesus said, “Neither do I [condemn you]. Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11)
Rather than judging, we ought to be pointing the way to life and restoration.
You do probably know Jenny’s story well. Because her real name is Britney Spears.