It’s easy to forgive a person who lied on you once they apologized to you. It’s even easy to forgive the person who took a parking spot from you in the Wal-Mart parking lot. They knew you were trying to get that spot but they turned right into it knowing you were headed right at it!
How easy is it to forgive the person who killed your mother or your child? Tough, huh?
Misdirected teenagers are committing some of the most horrific crimes in the world. The addiction to violence and drugs among high schoolers are at unprecedented numbers. A kid is almost abnormal if he isn’t into drugs, sex, and violence. Even though the picture sounds tainted and unrealistic, it makes more sense to you when your family becomes the victim of a meaningless crime committed by a 14 or 15 year old who just wants attention.
Forgiveness is tough when you are the one who has to forgive. But, should forgiveness ever upstage justification?
The Time Limit
The Juvenile Detention System is designed to hopefully reform corrupt adolescent behavior. If a teen takes a life he should get a life sentence, right? If an adult man takes a life that’s the judgment he’ll receive. However, most of the teens committing these crimes are misdirected. They usually come from broken homes and alarming backgrounds. Sometimes, these teens find reformation and transformation within the brutal prison system.
If a child gets a 35 year sentence at 15 years old it means at 50 years old he could be released. Is it fair? No doubt the kid’s family will be pleased but is the life of the murdered victim honestly justified by 35 years?
Truth is you could never justify taking the life of another person with time. Many of these kids don’t even know what they’re doing when they do it. After 30 or 35 years many are completely different people. Sounds good. Sounds nice. However, when your family is the victim it never goes away. Just the thought of that “monster” being released evokes turmoil and pain all over again.
Circumstances like these are Faith Challenging. Christians believe Forgiveness is unlimited. In the Holy Bible, Jesus teaches a man should forgive under any circumstance more than 490 times per person. Of course He didn’t mean 490 times specifically. So, don’t start making your list for everyone you know. His words simply suggest forgiving should be unlimited.
If you wish someone hurt and pain for the rest of their lives is that really forgiveness?
It is a hard pill to swallow. The bitterness seems to linger around for years. Even when you feel you’re over it all it takes is the right song on the radio or an old picture book. The feelings easily resurface. That’s when you realize you are never getting over it.
It is possible to be bitter yet still forgive. Sometimes you hate who you have to work with but you put up with them anyway. There are times your spouse or your lover completely hurts you. It’s hard to continue looking at them. You eventually forgive them even though it hurts you to do so.
It may not even be possible to forget the murder of a loved one. Has anyone ever done it? You just can’t stop thinking about it. The pain must make love with memory and reproduce babies of bitterness because the agony continues for decades. They even transcend through generations of your family.
What could make a teenager take a gun and viscously strip life from another human being? The anger and rage in the heart of a kid must be fueled from somewhere. It’s just impractical. You’re never prepared for teenager to shoot up an entire school. Nobody is anticipating the very next moment could be their last one. A kid with no respect for life will walk up to you on a street corner and shoot you in the head just to steal your iPhone.
Adults are shaped by experiences. However, teenagers don’t have many experiences. They are shaped by society.
Our mirrors are reflecting our inability as a society to rejuvenate broken neighborhoods and modify the conditions of poverty. Most people feel if their family doesn’t live in the condition they won’t be affected by the Restraints Of Poverty. Well, when you are robbed at gunpoint because one of them just wants something to eat you will feel affected. When your son is killed by school bullies because a kid from a broken home has taken all of his rage out on your kid you will feel affected.
It doesn’t take a lot for a man with money to lose it. Just one bad investment and he snaps. Imagine how easily a man with nothing to lose snaps.
If you are too busy to volunteer at a neighborhood center or some kind of community development program you are part of the problem. It could even be your job to organize a program that will meet the needs of misdirected families. It doesn’t matter if you’re a volunteer or if you get a grant to do it. The bottom line is, it needs to be done and everyone should allocate a few hours a week in some kind of community program to foster hope for our kids.
Forgiving is a person for committing a crime against you is a personal choice. Volunteering to help provide alternatives so these crimes won’t happen to others should not be a choice. It should be an obligation.
Forgiveness doesn’t come through the punishment. It comes through the reformation. When a man is honestly apologetic and sincerely penitent he is eligible for forgiveness. Pain and Bitterness should never be factors which predict a justified time of punishment. Tragic death creates an Agony that may last a lifetime but Forgiveness produces a few blessings while you continue to deal with the Agony.