The cruel age of group think leaves no room for forgiveness

Jun 9, 2021 by

by Gavin Ashenden, Christian Today:

There must surely be a creeping anxiety spreading thoughout the English cricket team – what tweets from their teenage years lie like time bombs waiting to be discovered? What adolescent thought crimes may slip out of the long forgotten murky past to destroy their career?

I was thinking about my own past, teenage years and childhood. I once drank cider underage in a pub. I once put a bet on a horse, a shilling, underage as a teen. But the event where I really went off the rails happened when I was about 11.

[…] I was lucky I didn’t get into trouble with the police. I was lucky my adolescent stupidity didn’t mark my card longer than it did. But the Christian culture I grew up in allowed penitence, sorrow, changes of direction and forgiveness.

But something has changed. It’s no longer about what you did. It’s what you thought – or what they think you thought.

I’m not about to be selected for the English cricket team, but if I was, today, someone might start looking into my past. Like all of us, they would find stuff I was ashamed of, stuff I had put behind me, stuff I had repudiated, and stuff I had forgotten. What a lucky break there was no Twitter when I was growing up. Because the first place everyone looks today is social media like Facebook or Twitter.

Sadly for Ollie Robinson, who had just been selected to play cricket for England, Twitter and his teenage years just overlapped.

He put out some silly, daft and, if you understand them, somewhat offensive tweets when he was 18. Like a lot of teen jokes, other people didn’t find them very funny. Some people would have been made very cross by some of them.

But then adolescents push the boundaries, don’t they. That’s what that period of life is supposed to be about.

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