What Christians Could Learn from Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien

By now you probably know the controversy surrounding Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien.  What you may not be aware of is, how they are dealing with it.

Here is the bottom line.  Jay Leno has been on the Tonight Show forever, number one in his time-slot.  So Conan O’Brien has followed him, and grown a strong following of his own.

The executives at NBC decided that before Jay Leno’s show started to slump, they’d take it away from him and give it to Conan, and send Jay away.  Then at the last minute they decided they would give him another show, just like the show he had, only in prime time.  Bottom line is, the decision sucks.  It doesn’t work.  And now all of a sudden, and in panic mode of course, they are going to move things back like they were.  This brings controversy between two very visible entertainers.

What’s been interesting, as I’ve watched this unfold, is what class both of these men have as they are dealing with this embarrassing situation.  The steps are being taken because neither one of their shows are being successful given the conditions of the current format.  And yet they are making fun of themselves and being honorable at the same time.  Here are some things that Christians could learn from this:

  1. Be honest about what’s going on. It’s embarrassing to fail, and as Jay Leno says, humbling.  Don’t hide, don’t lie, and don’t spin it; just tell the truth.
  2. Don’t attack the other person. This is something Christians can learn because even though we are supposed to live by a higher standard, it seems as though Christians on a mission from God can be as mean and merciless as almost anyone in the world.  Take an example from these two highly paid, high profile entertainers.  Respect the other person.
  3. Always stay on task. That means you’re trying to find a workable solution for both sides.
  4. If you can’t find a solution, go your separate ways and embrace a new beginning.

Here is why this is so important for those of us who call ourselves Christians.  We suck at conflict.  We devour each other because we adopt a weird mindset that says, “As long as my cause is righteous, I can use any means available to accomplish it.”  In other words, the end justifies any means necessary.

I’ve seen Christian leaders lie, cheat, steal, and do things I never dreamed would be possible, all in the effort to do the right thing.  This should never be.

Let’s take a lesson from a current controversy and be men and women of integrity when we’re involved in conflict.