(This is a continuation of the post from yesterday.)
Before I go any further, I do not want to make light of the action that Steve carried out. There are several families that are hurt, broken, mourning, and it is not my intention to make light of the situation. The hope is that we look at the sickness of sin, examine ourselves to see where God has been gracious to us, and see the areas that we should be growing in grace if we are truly desiring to be more life Christ.
I read some of the comments on Facebook as this story spread to some of my friends, and to others that went to school with Steve. One comment stuck out to me…
“It is sad, but Steve was always so mean to me in school…”
In this instance, I was so frustrated with this comment. I was very close to throwing out a rebuttal that would have surely been overly harsh. However, I had to be honest with myself, isn’t that my attitude in grace?
A sort of, “yeah, he had it comin’” attitude, and I rejoice a little that his life is now (for all intents and purposes) over? He was mean then, so now it comes as no surprise that this lowlife would do something like this?
When I was young, a dog bit me and left me with some small scars. I found out that dog was hit by a car several years later, and to be honest…I was kind of happy.
Is that grace?
I can’t imagine Christ walking this earth and feeling a bit vindicated that someone that had treated him poorly, or wronged Him, or was just a liability to society threw their life away but committing a terrible crime.
Would He say there should be punishment?
Would He take joy in that?
So why do we?
I believe it is because it makes us feel better about ourselves, more righteous, and in our works based mindset we believe that we are closer to God when we can one-up someone on the good works list.
Sadly, this has nothing to do with how God has things set up.
The Apostle Paul was a murder.
I say all of that to say this. God has shown me great grace in my life. It has been a grace that has been sprinkled throughout this journey of my life and intermittently mixed with some very grace filled events. For me to be shown such great grace and for me (in my attitude) to show no grace is a debauchery.
Grace doesn’t necessarily mean a person is free from being punished. Grace will influence the attitude in which it is carried out.
I believe Steve will be punished, I believe he should. However, my heart is heavy for a person whom I once knew well and has thrown his life away over something that was surely not worth it. I also know that God has taken thrown away lives and changed them for His glory and that is my hope.