Jason Wright, writing for FoxNews.com, asks the probing question, "Do your sins have a mugshot?":
A few weeks ago, a good friend and two others were nabbed together in a drug bust. My pal, D.G., is being held without bond.
News spread quickly in our small town. “Ship them away. Let them rot. Have you seen the mug shot?”
Let’s be blue-sky clear. I’m not soft on crime and I’m not debating the merits of today’s drug laws. …
How often I’ve caught the news of someone being arrested and charged, no matter the crime, and passed judgement from my invisible black robe. All it takes is a 30-second story to tell us all we need to know. …
But while we pass judgement during the commercial break, here’s what we might forget. Guilty or not, D.G. is still a child of a living, loving God — a heavenly Father who, by the way, never stops parenting. …
While my sins are not necessarily crimes, they are no less sins, aren’t they? Even though his sins are a different brand than mine, they still come from the same store.
I know the risk in writing such a column. I could be called too soft on crime, too tolerant, too blind and far too naive. Some might even accuse me of excusing my friend simply because we have personal history.
There’s no hidden message here and nothing buried between the digital lines. I’m not excusing anyone of anything. My friend, if guilty, needs to pay the price and let justice run its course. He needs to be just as accountable to the laws of the land as those with whom I haven’t shared a church pew.
Looking at D.G.'s mug shot and reading the charges, I wondered how people would feel if my own picture appeared in the paper with a list of my own sins. Would they want to ship me away? Let me rot? …
The truth? I’m no different than D.G. Every day I ask God not to give up on me yet.
I make mistakes. I’m imperfect. And heaven knows I have a lot of work ...
Thankfully, my friend and I both have time. For now, I’ll leave the judging to juries and the eternal judgements to the eternal judge.
May we remember that all of us are sinners, even without our pictures in the paper or our mugshots in a police blotter!.
Jason F. Wright is a New York Times bestselling author, columnist and speaker. Subscribe to his weekly columns, join him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter. His latest book, "The James Miracle," is available on Amazon.
"Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you ..." (Matthew 7:1-2).