A young woman, “Grace,” recently accused actor Aziz Ansari of sexual misconduct during a date, and in response, talk show hosts and media figures have been giving their opinions, commenting and attempting to define appropriate sexual behavior — a seemingly difficult task.
Some say Ansari is to blame, and others say “Grace” is just complaining about a bad date. My opinion is that what happened to her was horrible even if it does not fit the definition of a sexual assault.
Sex is a powerful, spiritual act so it’s no surprise that sexual assault or misconduct affects a person’s soul and can cause profound confusion and emotional damage. We innately know this, which is why our society takes issues of consent and sexual assault seriously.
But God takes it even more seriously.
While our culture sets the line of sexual consent between two willing adults, God sets the boundary to marriage between one man and one woman. In God’s economy, you need to be in a legally binding, monogamous and lifelong partnership — one with mutual respect, honor, and love.
So, in the particular case of Ansari and his accuser, did inappropriate sexual conduct occur? Yes, according to God’s Word, because they were engaging in sexual activity outside the bonds of marriage. And it appears “Grace” was emotionally wounded from straying from God’s boundary.
While emotional wounds aren’t always a result of sex outside of marriage, perhaps it is more often than we’d care to admit. As Proverbs 6:27 says, “Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?”
By her own admission, “Grace” left the encounter shaken and confused. And she’s also going through an onslaught of criticism for speaking out about it.
I believe God hates the devastation she feels — devastation that any of us experience when we stray from His holy, perfect precepts. All sin, not only sexual, and its consequences are serious, harmful and offensive to God.
But where does that leave us? Where does that leave Ansari and “Grace” and the rest of us who don’t live up to God’s commandments? What hope could there be after offending a holy God?
“I’m not a good person so I’m not worth anything to God.”
How many people believe that? Half of it is true. The Bible tells us that no one is good, not one. Not Mother Teresa. Not me. Not you. No one is good.
Even you who abstain from sex until marriage, if you are still violating God’s standards in other areas, you are not good enough for a holy God. To God, even our righteous works are like the filthy rags used during a woman’s menstruation (Isaiah 64:6). Just as committing a legal offense could result in you facing a judge for judgment, someone has to pay for committing offenses against God.
Thank God He made a way for that payment:
While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person — though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die — but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
The only thing that could adequately pay for our offenses to God was a perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ. And He died on a cross to be that sacrifice for us.
“Grace” is worth Christ’s blood.
Ansari is worth Christ’s blood.
You are worth Christ’s blood.
You are worth everything to God, the very life of His Son. Not because of anything we can do, not because we are good … but because Jesus is. That is the grace God offers to a culture and people who continuously stray from His standards. That’s grace.