Sheen, Slogans, and Sanctification

Earlier this very year, during yet another media blitz, coupled with my abhorrence and amazement of pop culture, I never thought I would choose to write about Charlie Sheen. . . . But now I am.

I just happened to turn past The Tonight Show last week and see Charlie Sheen talking to Jay. He looked reasonably normal, so I had to check it out. Little did I know, I was about to be inspired and challenged by the Lord. There are two stand-out comments that he made that taught me something.

The first was when Charlie said, “I realized I was pretty much losing.” This is while he is adamantly declaring to the world on a daily basis that he is “Winning!” Isn’t it odd how we all will work so hard to prove we are not losing, when, in our heart of hearts, we know we are. That’s not just Charlie, that’s humans, like me.

The second was when Jay talked about the pain he felt watching Charlie’s dad, Martin Sheen, talking publicly on TV to his out-of-control son, asking, “Will this ever end?” Jay asked Charlie, “So, will you, can you, go through this again?” Charlie humbly answered, “I can’t. Don’t have the energy. I’m all out of slogans.”

I’m all out of slogans. . . . Man, those words rang in my ears and God used Charlie Sheen, yes, Charlie Sheen to teach me something. I have my own slogans too. The things I tell myself, I tell my family, I tell others, and even tell God sometimes that are just fancy words to puff myself up, to cover over my sin, attitude, pain, etc. Slogans can be phrases like, “Well, hey, that’s just how I am.” If you’re really cool, you say, “That’s just how I roll.” or “Whatever!” or “Deal with it.” Or the ever-popular “Duh.” Sound familiar? There are also the personal slander slogans like, “Yeah, that’s usually how things work out for me.” Or “Oh, I could have told you that wouldn’t have worked.”

Real, authentic humility comes when we say, “I’m all out of slogans.” Nothing clever to say. No catch-phrase to distract or ignore my behavior. We all have a Charlie side, the extreme in us all. I have no idea where Mr. Sheen is headed and if he can stay clean, but I appreciate him saying he is out of slogans and reminding me that I, too, need to stay away from my own and be humble. For me, to walk humbly before my God.

So, what would your family and friends say would be printed on your t-shirt? What clever comeback do you have that needs to be booted out of your vocabulary? What slogan needs to be replaced with a Scripture?

I heard a pastor teach this week that when we come to the end of ourselves and have exhausted our own resources, that is when we can truly lose our lives to gain it.

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. —Matthew 16:25 NIV

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. —Mark 8:35

Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. —Luke 17:33

The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. —John 12:25

All four Gospels. Wow! I would say this is a crucial concept of Christ for both salvation and sanctification. How about this, “The man who realizes he is all out of slogans may finally have something to say.” May we stand at the fire and burn our slogans at the stake and may we find the humility of Christ in the flames.



Leave a Reply