WAKE FOREST, S.C., July 13, 2013 — Dentist James Knight has fired his assistant, Melissa Nelson, for allegedly being too irresistible to him. The doctor feared he would eventually have an affair with her. It was phantom adultery because Nelson never succumbed to any of Knight’s advances or sexual innuendo.
“The Devil made me do it.” That’s a line that Baby Boomer or older generations remember from the Flip Wilson Show. Flip portrayed a character named Geraldine, who had impulsive urges to overspend while shopping. When Geraldine returned home, she told her man that the Devil forced her to buy consumer items.
Many of us thought the skit was innocent and cute. Unfortunately, the avoidance of personal responsibility is becoming increasingly prevalent today.
Many of the news reports are focusing on the court’s ruling that Knight’s decision to fire Nelson “broke no discrimination law.” Buried in the story are the salacious and lewd comments the doctor directed towards her such as, “you will know if your clothes are too revealing if you see a bulge in my pants,” or inappropriate questions such as, “have you ever experienced an orgasm?”
Interestingly, the news stories outline Knight’s decision, but downplay the fact that his actions were directed and demanded by his wife after she discovered inappropriate text messages exchanged by Nelson and her husband. The doctor’s wife was also employed at his dental practice. This bizarre situation underscores the dearth of personal responsibility, honor and integrity that is becoming more common in our society.
Those of us who embrace the words in the Christian bible must realize that the buck stops with each of us individually. We cannot blame others for our personal failures:
“…every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of HIS OWN lust, and enticed.” (James 1:12)
We are out of touch with reality if we believe that our fellow man is gullible enough to accept a lame excuse that someone else is responsible for our immorality. So, if Nelson was actually such a distraction or temptation to Dr. Knight, he could have done any of the following:
1. Contact other dental practices in the area and identify one that would offer her comparable pay.
2. Take time off and get away with his wife to rekindle the passion in his own marriage.
3. Seek counseling from his pastor or clergy to identify the true root of the problem: his lust.
Instead, the doctor chose an act of cowardice by acting as a man emasculated by his wife, and having Nelson bear the brunt of an action that is a mere panacea. It is only a matter of time before some other attractive female gets Knight’s attention. In the meantime, now that all of this dirty laundry has been aired nationwide, Nelson’s husband may seek retribution in a variety of ways. The bottom line is that all of this could have been avoided had Knight chosen to man-up and deal with his personal dark side, according to that which his God had prescribed:
“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Thy Word.” (Psalm 119:9)
All of the men out there could all stand to be vigilant in doing a man-up self-assessment. Such preventative maintenance is far more valuable than damage control.
Bill Randall is a certified Community Chaplain, and former County Coordinator for National Day of Prayer (Kenosha County, WI, 2002 – 2005). eHe is the author of the book: “Examining God’s Purposes for Fasting and Prayer” (Author House, 2005).