My heart raced, my stomach danced with butterflies, and my breath came up short. Was I about to step on stage to perform for an audience? Nope. I was just viewing an episode of The Gilmore Girls, Season Three on DVD at my house.
It was the one where Dean finally breaks up with Rori after being strung along by her for months and months, poor guy. He ends everything in public, though, which my friend and I agreed was definitely not okay. But can you blame him when all Rori wants is Jess?
You see, Jess is the new guy in town, dark, intriguing, and different. He’s also a Class-A rebel from day one. He smokes cigarettes, steals baseballs from his high school, and publicly makes out with a girl he cares nothing about.
Rori, on the other hand, is an innocent, naïve, private-school attendee. She’s considered an angel by her small town, is loved by her mom and grandparents, and generally thought perfect. Yet, she is irresistibly drawn to rebellious Jess, to the frustration of everyone—including Rori herself.
In the episode where she and Jess finally reveal their feelings for each other, a strange phenomenon occurred within me, too. I was actually rooting for Jess! How could I do this? I know he’s bad for Rori. I’m even fully aware from future episodes that he takes her down a pretty sketchy path in the end.
What’s wrong with me? I’m cheering for the bad guy! This isn’t me. This isn’t who I’m supposed to like. I’m supposed to go for Dean, the sweet, caring (if somewhat boring) former boyfriend.
The apostle Paul had the same problem (undoubtedly not regarding the Gilmore Girls, though). He, too, was frustrated with the fact that he chose the wrong thing to do, knowing he should choose what’s right. He protests in Romans 7:15, I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
So what was his problem? Was the apostle Paul himself just not spiritual enough?
The truth is, though Christ makes us new creations, we still have the flesh to deal with. The flesh is that part of us that sympathizes with evil in the world and wants to be wild and bad just because it’s more exciting.
This is what was wrong with me (and Paul) and why I (not Paul) was rooting for Rori and Jess to get together. Jess (both real and metaphorical) is more exciting to my flesh, but in the end, he leads to hurt and pain.
This is why it’s so important to fill our heads and hearts with God’s truth—so that when we’re drawn to what seems dark and exciting, we know whether it’s good for us or not. Scripture brings us the ability to discern between good and evil.
When it feels good to sympathize with Jess, the truth tells us that he’s not-so-good, after all.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. ~Romans 12:2
Melissa Weaver is a 21-year-old English major at North Greenville University where she is editor of the school’s literary magazine The Mountain Laurel. She minors in French (that’s the rumor, anyway) and enjoys bookstore clearance sales, adding as many classic novels as possible to her bookshelves. A native of Charleston, SC, she loves music (especially British), writing poetry, trying on funny hats, drawing with sidewalk chalk, and hitting the beach during the summers home.