Friday, February 6, 2009

Robbery and My Attitude

Yesterday morning I walked into church only to find that we'd been robbed. Someone had broken in over night and taken a lot of valuable items--including my laptop computer. It was a strange day to say the least. And it's tempting for me to be angry and want to get revenge on whoever this person was. It's easy for me to think and say how awful a decision this person (or these people) made and how God must be so angry with them. It's tempting to think I'm better than this thief. But I have to remind myself that I am not.

Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:1-5
"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—-among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—-"

Did you catch what he's pointing out to these Christians? He's saying that all mankind is equal when left to our own devices. Even the most godly of Christians once was dead in sin, following Satan and letting his/her sinful passions and desires reign supreme. All of us are "by nature children of wrath." On our own, we are no better and no more godly than any other individual we will ever meet--even those who do wrong against us.

The only thing that is different for us as believers is that God, rich in mercy, has changed our hearts and made us into new people. Through the death of Christ, He's forgiven us and set us free from the sin that we used to be slaves to...So I have no reason to look down on whoever this thief is. I am no better than him/her. Left to my own devices, who knows what I might have become.

So when I think of this robbery, I am sad for the thief and hopeful that through the legal process that follows that he/she will hear the gospel--even from me if I'm given the opportunity--and that God will change their heart and give them new desires....I think it is still appropriate and probably necessary to press charges as a church; we are not simply to be a doormat. But more than that, we need to show this person that because of Christ's death and resurrection God is willing to forgive them and make them new!

1 comment:

Wilma Goodwin said...

Hi Marc,

I am so sad that someone broke into your church office and stole your lap-top computer.

Your message about forgiveness is right on, but I believe that the church should press-charges also.

I know you will witness to the thief if you get a chance. That is the kind of person you are through God's help.

I hope you get it back.

I will pray that you find the person who broke into your office and that justice will be served.

Grandma G.