Dead People Don’t Get Even

Posted on June 25, 2015 in Justice, Law

Did you know that mature followers of Jesus are dead? Not the “I finished the race and I’m in heaven” kind of dead. The kind Jesus taught his followers about.

If you try to save your life you’ll lose it, but if you lose it for His sake you’ll find it.

Die to live. He illustrated with a metaphor—unless a grain of wheat dies and falls to the ground it remains alone, but when it dies it produces fruit.

Dead people don’t get even. They don’t strike back when they’re wounded or hurt or betrayed. I’ve failed plenty at this in my personal relationships. I’m still learning to die.

God established government authority to restrain evil. The Bible says, “if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing…”

Government punishes offenders. But God doesn’t want His people to leave them there. He wants His people to see wrongdoers as He sees them. So how do we do justice and love mercy to criminal offenders?

What if we offered them a shot at redemption, a chance to rebuild trust? What if we put our forgiveness to the test and sought restoration and transformation?

Some communities do this with non-violent offenders. Would we dare try it with drug dealers, rapists, or murderers? Someone like Dylann Roof?

The world wouldn’t stand for something like this. I have a hard time believing it could be done. But didn’t Jesus say that with God all things are possible?

We need to guard against turning justice into vengeance. That’s God’s job, not ours.

What say you?