Thursday, July 27, 2006

Justice? Or Mercy?

Justice and mercy. We humans rarely balance the two out well. I confess it is a concept I often find myself struggling with -- from world events to the local church to close relationships.

So this Andrea Yates case brings the whole issue up again. This woman murdered five of her own children! Yet in her retrial, she has been found not guilty by reason of insanity. I agree! A person would have to be insane to kill her 5 children. But where is the accountability? Where is the justice for those 5 innocent lives that were snuffed out by a person whom they should have been able to trust? I don't know what the answer is. If she is indeed insane, I hope for her sake and others' that she remains in the state mental hospital for a long time.

In Romans 3, Paul talks about how God presented Jesus as a sacrifice of atonement. He then says in vv. 25-26: He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished -- he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justified those who have faith in Jesus.

Through this, we see that God is both Just and the Justifier. So, I rest in that thought. I know that I want mercy. Therefore, I believe it best for me to err on the side of mercy in my dealings with others.

On a lighter note (pardon the blond joke, but sometimes truth is greater than fiction): Runway model Tatyana Simanava, 21, was hospitalized in May after she turned the wrong way upon emerging from the rest room of the luxury motor home she was riding in through Brooklyn, N.Y., and fell out the back door into traffic, suffering a broken arm and wrist. Newspaper stories described her as a blonde.


jonroster said...

i hate when i fall out of the car into moving traffic...seriously, it is really embarrassing

Jeff said...

I wrestle with this question often. I honestly don't know what is justice in the Yates case but feel the ruling today was accurate. I believe we need to punish those who do wrong to others but we must also temper our response with the understanding that they answer to God in the end and face a greater joy or a harsher sadness than we would ever provide.

randy said...

To depend on justice is to depend on ourselves rather than Jesus. In esssence it is confidence in the law that was nailed to the cross. I'll choose mercy - it's the only chance I have.

Carole Colella said...

I feel terribly for Andrea Yates, but the justice could be that her five babies are going straight to heaven (without passing go). No chance for them to be lost eternally. No chance for Satan to get his hooks into them. That gives me comfort.