“A good act does not wash out the bad, nor a bad act the good. Each should have its own reward.”
— George R.R. Martin
It’s not just the ‘criminal’ that commits crimes; we are all sinners, and crimes are our stock in trade. Indeed, our crimes are against God, as we try and short-change the Giver of Life by shortcutting the processes of his will for our moments.
Take a speeding fine: we get trapped by the speed camera and a little time later we receive the traffic infringement. We are livid. For many reasons we are frustrated and angry. It might be like burning legal tender. What a waste of money. But we don’t see another reality: God’s reminder to slowdown. We don’t see the reality of that toddler on their tricycle that wasn’t there that day to be hit by the one-ton (or more) missile we were driving. It’s much better to get a speeding fine than to kill an innocent child.
Shortcuts Cost Us Time
We all take shortcuts, and much of the time we get away with such risks.
But there always comes a time when the shortcuts cost us: and the cost is always time. If we receive a fine, we lose money and, in effect, the only way we make up that lost money is by working for it through the investment of time.
In another way shortcuts cost us time. The mere act of taking a shortcut induces anxiety, because deep inside we know we are doing the wrong thing. If we believe in health and wellbeing, that reducing stress leads to a longer life, we might connect that the more anxiety we deal with the shorter our lives may be.
So, by doing the crime we must be prepared to do the time; even better if we can connect the crime with its ‘reward’—what it costs us in a fine and in time.
How we take our infringements and penalties is a test of our maturity. If we cannot accept responsibility for our actions we cannot be considered mature. If we cannot connect the justice that works against us with the justice of God we are seriously misled.
No one is beyond the Lord’s rebuke.
True justice works both ways—for us and against us. We deserve the rewards coming to us—the outworking of our works. If we are to be pleased in gaining kudos, we ought also to be pleased in receiving infringements. God gives both for our good.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.