REV DAVID FAREY: We are called upon to help, not condemn
Eastbourne's own Johanna Konta had a mini breakdown at the Fed Cup, the tennis World Cup last week when in Romania Ilie Nastase, the Romanian team captain had an angry outburst swearing at Konta and other people on court.
There has been an outpouring of criticism against Nastase for what was clearly extremely outrageous and insulting behaviour.
Konta was probably feeling fragile anyway after hearing the suicide verdict of her life coach’s death a few days before. She did however go on to win her match which reveals her as the high calibre player that she is.
But what of Nastase? ‘Nasty Nastase’ as he is being called.
He was known in his active playing career as a top player with an explosive character.
In his day his antics were perhaps more often smiled at, but now at 70 he has gone too far.
It is another indication of the way that double standards can so easily slip into people’s judgements.
What is seen as high larks in one context is condemned in another.
Nastase has though gone well beyond ‘high larks,’
Double standards are apparent where some newspapers and journalists claim to be the upholders of society’s morals in one breath and yet undermining them the next moment, such as in the phone tapping scandals.
The Church’s teaching on the Ten Commandments has often got lost under the welter of other issues, gay marriage and women bishops for example, but the teaching still holds good.
Not to lie, or steal, or kill, or commit adultery, etc are all good principles.
And the value added by Jesus to love one another are all good solid principles we should all seek to consistently live by.
So what of Nastase? I do not know the man, nor his circumstances, but something else in the news this last week should give us cause to ponder another cause for his outburst.
The BBC Minds Matter campaign is raising the issue that one in four people suffer from a mental illness.
A load of celebrities like David Tennant and Olivia Coleman added their selfies to the campaign.
And Archbishop of Canterbury’s daughter, Katharine Welby-Roberts, has spoken publicly about her battles with depression.
It is something most of us encounter either within us, those near to us, or simply people that we occasionally meet. We are called to draw alongside and help, not condemn.