I recently saw a picture on Facebook of a gun with text that read "I believe in the death penalty to all child molesters" and then asked if you agree or disagree. I read through some of the comments and was amazed at how much anger and hatred was used. I did not notice a single comment about forgiveness. Not a single comment about love. Not one single comment about how those people who have made that decision are still people. Sons and Daughters of God. One comment I read was "Sadly they never stop, there is no other choice." No other choice? So people can't change?
Many of the comments even urged for a punishment more inhumane and cruel than death itself. I read comments about torture, putting them in prison so bad things will happen to them, even so far as to say castrate them, and some other things I will not disclose due to the sheer darkness of it. I was completely shocked at how hateful, spiteful, and quick to judge so many people are. What gives us the right to pass hate and judgement, even death, so quickly on others?
I was reminded of a quote from one of my favorite books and movie series of all time and from one of my favorite fictional characters. “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.” -Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring -J.R.R. Tolkein.
Judgement of others has been something I've struggled with in life. I used to judge others so quickly and almost without reason. I remember how dark of a period of my life that was and how much I hurt others and myself. It has truly been something I feel I have improved greatly on. I have learned to love others regardless of their choices, past, or beliefs. Does that mean I always agree with what they do or believe? No. But I do not let it change the way I treat them.
One thing I truly believe is that anyone can change, though not always on their own. More often than not it requires one to lean on God. The point is, anyone can change. Just because someone has made a poor decision, even a decision which can lead into something as long-lasting as addiction, it does not mean they can't change. Yes, it may be hard. Yes, it may take time and trial and error, but it can be done.
May we all learn to love everyone the way God would have us love. Remember that everyone is a child of God. God be with you and bless you all! Love and hugs all around!