This is one of my favorite scenes in one of my favorite movies (Gettysburg). Since I referenced it in a sermon just yesterday, I figured it was worth posting the scene again.
I love this scene for two reasons.
1. I love the way Lee gives a stern, yet measured and appropriate rebuke. Stuart has let him down. Lee cannot let the matter pass. Stuart must learn from it. More importantly, the whole army depends on Lee to get the best out of Stuart. Anything less than a rebuke would have been cowardly.
2. I love the way Lee builds Stuart back up after dressing him down. My tendency when I sin or screw up is to act like Stuart and try to hand in my sword. “Alright, Lord, if that’s how you feel. I’ll hang it up.” But Lee will have none of it. “There is no time!” (Great line, especially with the southern drawl). Stuart needs to stop groveling, learn from his mistake, and get back into the battle.
Lee gives rebuke like a soldier and teaches Stuart to take rebuke like a soldier. If only we could give and take it like they do in the movies.
There’s rebuke for sin. There are consequences for sin. If you come in the name of Christ there will always be grace for you sin. It’s a grace that forgives, a grace that transforms, and grace that sends you back into battle. The Lord doesn’t want you grounded in sin. But neither does he want you groveling for it either. He wants repentance. He wants you to change. He wants you to depend on him.
We’ve all failed him. We will fail him again. So when you fail your commanding officer, don’t grovel. Confess, repent, pick up your sword, make it right, and rejoin the fight.