Take chances. Abandon all the rules. Ditch the recipe. Color outside the lines.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Just Us Is Served

The majority of my life has been made up with me living with a desperate desire for justice.  When I was little it was showed itself when I felt like my little brother wasn’t being punished the way I thought he should.  It was so unfair! He could like barely even tear up and they’d let him off the hook! That never worked for me… possibly because fake tears don’t have the same emotional affect?  I’d get all fired up and angry at the fact that I thought I was being treated unfairly.  As I got older it reared its ugly head in other very different ways.  I am a protector by nature, I think that’s just one those special things that God created me with.   It can be good or bad! When I was younger and less mature it usually came out with me getting in fights trying to protect the people that couldn’t protect themselves.  So my need for justice then became about making sure that the weak and abused were taken care of by those hurting them being punished.  I have grown a lot over the past year or so and have come to see that justice only has its place when it is balanced with grace.  God is sometimes very confusing to me… OK more like the majority of the time he is confusing to me! He is a God of absolute justice and absolute grace… say what?! How is that even possible?! Well, here’s what I think… maybe what we think is justice isn’t really justice at all.  God is completely satisfied.  Jesus paid our debts so justice has been served in God’s eyes.  I got into this argument with a guy on Facebook today well not really an argument more like a tough discussion that, honestly, saddened me.  My boyfriend’s status update read: “Just heard a teacher ripping a kid in the elementary school here..... She tells the boy where do you go when you lie?!!! First to jail then down to the devil!!!!! WOW!!!” First of all, that sickens me! I’d like to go grab that kid and hug him and then punch that teacher in the face… yeah I know, not very grace filled, my protective side coming out one again and that need for justice that I have to fight.  Anyway, the conversation  followed like so:

He Who Shall Not Be Named: Well good for her, tht is wht these kids need these days r the truth. Wether it hurts their feelings or not. Tht is why we have such trouble with these kids today no disciple
 Random Other Guy:  Good Ol Bible Belt lol
 He Who Shall Not Be Named:  Yes sir tht is so true and totally agree with the ol bible belt!!!!
Me:  There's nothing in my bible that says to treat kids like garbage... Maybe I have the wrong translation...
He Who Shall Not Be Named:   No it doesn't but it does say tht we should disciple our children and raise them in the way of the lord. The way parents let there children talk to them and teachers and law enforcement is nuts. O and yes it does say in revelations tht the lord doesn't like liars, the teacher probably could have handled it better but at least she didn't let him disrepect his elders!!!!!!

Anyone see the problem in this last comment?  Well if you don’t… listen up! First off, I hate… absolutely DESPISE when people try to use the Bible to justify their actions and ignorantly don’t use the entire verse.  So let me clear this up for everyone! The verse he is using here actually a bastardization of a few verses which appears many times in the Old and New Testament.  I’m going to stick to the New Testament because we no longer live under the law of Old Testament times.  The one I will use comes from Ephesians which, in its entirety reads, “Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do.  ‘Honor your father and mother.’ This is the first commandment with a promise:  If you honor your father and mother, ‘things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.’  Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.”  You catch that last part?!  Here let me say it again for you “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord”  The actual Greek word being used here for discipline actually translates and “correction out of love” and that means disciplining your kids not to hurt them but to make them better.  Yeah… little mister smarty pants didn’t get that last part, huh?  The other verse he referred to in Revelation reads, “He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”  This verse is actually referring to the New Heaven and New Earth after the second coming of Christ.  It’s talking about the kind of people that will be in glory and the kind that will be banished to eternal damnation.  This isn’t saying that literally every liar or sexually immoral or idolaters or those practicing magic will automatically go to hell.  If that were the case then what did Jesus even die for?  You can take the verse out of context and make it say what you want, but then they’re not God’s words anymore… they’re yours.  You may be striving for justice, for those kids to “get what they deserve” but the way that you are doing it is wrong.  Responding to wrong actions out of anger with aggression and yields more aggression.  There are consequences for actions. We, however, are the adults and we should act like we are and punishment with aggression is just a fancy way of saying abuse. We must control our emotions and handle things in such a way that there is punishment out of love and wanting to make that kid grow into a better person.  When all we have is justice without grace then the only one being served is us, and that’s not what real justice nor life itself is about.  Next time, try mixing a little grace in with your justice; I promise you’ll like the recipe better when the finish product comes out of the oven. 

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