When news broke of Matt Lauer’s sexual exploits last week, it shocked and surprised many, including his own co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb.
But what went virtually unnoticed in the media fallout from the Lauer revelations is how an NBC host boldly proclaimed God’s truth as so many people were grappling with the idea that someone they admire could have such deep shortcomings.
Guthrie opened “The Today Show” on the day that the news broke, and admitted she was struggling with the news. “How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly? And I don’t know the answer to that,” she said to the millions of people watching.
And just like that, Christians around the world were presented with a golden opportunity to point people towards God. See, we do know the answer to Savannah’s question, and it’s a simple (but not easy) one: forgiveness.
That’s how you reconcile with someone who has done wrong, by extending them mercy and grace and forgiveness. That is how she should reconcile her relationship with Matt Lauer, now that he’s embarrassed, humiliated, and hurt his friends and colleagues. Forgive him. Show compassion. Help him.
That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy, quite the contrary, it will be painful. But it’s a golden opportunity because we have a chance to show people how God’s ways are different — and better — from the world, which is shocked when someone behaves “badly.”
NBC’s Kathie Lee Gifford boldly started her hour on NBC that day with a powerful explanation of how “only God can heal” and that all of us are broken. She replayed the clip of Guthrie asking the question on reconciliation. After taking a deep breath, and momentary hesitation, she began to explain God’s message of forgiveness. It’s truly a remarkable bit of television (see below) and very few if any have given any attention to it.
“I’m grappling with, should I even share. And I guess I really should… When I found out my husband has betrayed me, you question your own judgment. You say, was everything a lie? And I think we very much have to fight against that. That the man we know and adored was the man we loved and adored and continue to. I texted him this morning and said ‘I adore you, and no person is perfect in this world, nobody is, we’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, is what scripture says.
What we need now is forgiveness and mercy from one another. And we don’t need taunts and we don’t need ugliness, we have enough of that in this world. I send out my love to the person, whoever it is, who came forward, may God heal that person. I send it to Matt and his children and his wife, may God bless that family and heal. And I’m sorry, Hoda, but in my long life the only thing I’ve ever been sure of is only God can heal it. Only God can heal it. There’s no bad time to reach out for His help.”
“We are all so broken, we’re broken and we need somebody to put us back together. It’s possible, I’m living proof,” Gifford concluded.