Is justice more important than grace?
In lieu of the not guilty verdict in the Trayvon Martin case; there is an uproar becasue people dont feel as if justice is served. People believe George Zimmerman should be punished for what he did. Im not saying i believe he should have been found not guilty, but the uproar of some Christians made me want to write this because i see people wanting justice, but not wanting to extend grace. Here is my story……
January 1992, one of the most popular songs for a while had been “My minds playing tricks on me” by The Geto Boys. It was my fathers favorite song at the time. So one day i decide that i want to record the song for my dad and surprise him when he got of work. I wait until it came on the radio and hit record. I recorded it and was so excited about giving it to my father i asked my mom could i wait up for him when he got off work to give it to him since he worked late. Well i fell asleep on the couch.
The next day i wake up excited to give it to my father, but im met with a teary eyed mother that said six words to me that i will never get out my head. “Last night, your father was killed.” My world just crashed. My father was my everything. I have his name. Im little Mitch. What do I do know? Im devistated.
I go to my grandmom because she was my rock. I know she can make me feel better. She holds me as im crying and tells me that the person that did this to my father was going to have to answer to God and that God will take care of him. At 10 years old, i lost my father and my heart is full of hatred towards whoever killed him, but I understood the concept of grace; so when my grandmother told me God will take care of him, my response was “but grandmom. What if he accepts Jesus? If he accepts Jesus then his sins will be forgiven and he’s gonna go to heaven even tho he killed my dad.” At that momment, the hatred in my heart replaced Gods grace.
As I got older i would dream of avenging my fathers murder, but I didnt know who killed him. Then it all came to light who did it. The police knew who did it but never charged the man. So in my mind, HE HAS TO DIE. Once i was older and in the streets i would look for him to kill him. It seemed that everytime I thought I had him, he would slip away. Until one day im at a wedding. Not thinking about him or the fact that the woman getting married was his wife’s sister. After they say I do and walk down the isle; I turn to watch them and see him. Right there a few pews down.
The hatred in me instantly changed me. I didnt get loud or anything, i just start moving. My mother could see in my face what was about to happen. She starts to yell to my uncles because at this point, im going for my gun. This is the man that killed my father, right in front of me. Im going to kill him at a wedding at a church in front of hundreds of people. Before i could get to do it my uncles were holding me and keeping me from doing so. The hatred for this man had me telling my uncles if they dont let me go im going to kill them later on. The cops would not bring justice to my fathers case, so I had too. But again, another blown oppurtunity.
A few years later I rededicated my life to Christ. I went all in for God. One night I read Mt 6:15 “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Immediately God showed me the hatred in my heart i still had for this man and said “you have to forgive him.” WHAAAAAT? God you must have lost your mind twice. He killed my father. Again He said “you must forgive him.” It burned me to the core, but how could i expect to be forgiven for all the wrong i’ve done and not want to extend forgiveness. Even for something as hurtful as murdering my father. That night, the grace of God replaced the hatred in my heart. No longer was I the 10 yr old that didn’t want this man to accept Jesus. God made me pray for this mans salvation.
That was such a hard thing to do because of what that man did. My feelings were that of Jonah’s. The story of Jonah running away from God, is about God telling him to go preach to a wicked nation; and Jonah not wanting to because he felt as if the people did not deserve God’s grace. After Jonah gets swallowed by the fish, he goes and does his assignment but not happy about. To show Jonah the concept of grace, God leads Jonah out in the heat, and creates a leaf to give Jonah shade. Then He causes a worm to eat the leaf, removing Jonah’s shade. So Jonah gets mad about the worm eating the leaf that brought him shade and God said to him Jonah 4:9-11 “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left?”
The people in the wicked city of Nineveh, were still God’s children. Grace was extended to them inspite of their faults, and grace needs to be extended to the man that killed my father and even to George Zimmerman. Everyone wants justice for Trayvon because he was murdered. So was my father. Do I want justice for him? Honestly, being a spiritual being in this carnal world; i dont fully understand what true justice is. However I do uderstand the concept of grace.
Grace is God knowing we did wrong and deserving a punishment, but in His infinite love for us; He covers the sin and does not give us what we deserve. Every day we sin against God. Rom 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death”. Every day we deserve to die, yet God’s grace covers us to not have to pay that penalty. Rom 6:23 ends with “but the gift of God is eternal life inChrist Jesus our Lord.” Grace is a free gift given by God to ALL OF US!!
So the question is, is the justice we want for Trayvon (or any wrong doing we have received) greater than grace? The answer is and always will be no. As my pastor always says “Everybody is a candidate for the kingdom.” Jesus told us forgive people that hurt us 70×70 times. How can we; people that continually mess up and beg for God’s grace on our lives, require what we deem as justice on someone else’s life? That same person that we want punished, is God’s child just like we are. Lets not forget from whence we came and what we were forgiven for. Our desire for justice, can not trump God’s grace.
by Minister Mitchell Chance
Posted on July 14, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged Divine grace, Forgiveness, George Zimmerman, God, Gods Grace, Grace, Jesus, Jonah, Justice, Love, Nineveh, Sin, Trayvon Martin. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.