Sunday, 17 June 2007

Mercy St - via The Journey

Here's a post from my mate over at The Journey. I agree with everything Rodney had to say here and thought I'd post up his blog for everyone here to read as well.

Mercy Street
If you're like me, and you generally avoid any blog posts dealing with Paris Hilton, can I ask you to try to make it through to the end of this post?

I can't say that I've been following the soap opera that the Paris Hilton prison episode has become but it is difficult to avoid news of her on again, off again, on again drink driving sentence.
The story so far as I understand it is that she was sentenced, had her sentence reduced, went to prison, was released, was taken back to court, then sent back to prison.

It's not right
When the judge announced that she would have to return to jail to complete her original sentence she was taken from the court screaming "Mom, Mom, it's not right".

So what's not right? I guess it's the fact that she's been able to live without consequences for so long. It would seem that her parents, her friends, the media and her adoring fans have failed to let her know that we need to live within boundaries. It's also not right that at her age she hasn't woken up to those facts herself and started taking responsibility for her own actions.

My initial reactions are that she should be punished and that she deserves all she gets but I must say that I'm glad that I don't get treated the way I deserve. I'm glad that people are ready to forgive me and give me another chance when I screw up.

Give me mercy
The older I get the more I see the beauty of mercy. When my natural reaction is to say, "She's a spoiled little rich kid who deserves all she gets", mercy says she's a fractured person, just like me who needs healing and restoration. She might not realise that she needs that healing and restoration but that shouldn't change my attitude toward her.

I know that a lot of people say that they'll only offer forgiveness when someone else shows contrition. Is it right that we only offer mercy and forgiveness when the other person has recognised the error of their ways and shown remorse? I'm reminded of the example of Jesus ho was prepared to endure a violent death to offer forgiveness. Was that because we had shown remorse? No. It was while we were still his enemies that he made that sacrifice. His offer of forgiveness was not based on our actions but on his love for us.

Am I suggesting that we just let Paris, or anyone else for that matter, do whatever they like and that we should keep forgiving? Yes I am.

Am I suggesting that peoples actions shouldn't attract consequences? Absolutely not. There are natural consequences to everything we do and there are other consequences when we step over the line and operate outside the laws of the land in which we live.

I think it is right that Paris serves her sentence but I can't take any pleasure from her suffering. I also think it's up to the legal system to judge her and prescribe the correct sentence. It's not up to me. Thankfully that lets me off the hook from having to keep score of everyone else's wrong doings. I don't have to compare everyone else's record against mine and complain when others behave more badly than I do.

Getting it wrong
We all make mistakes and Paris seems to have made more than most. Maybe mistake is the wrong word. I understand that we sometimes mess up unintentionally and at other times we quite willfully make the wrong choices. Either way, we need forgiveness and restoration.

How are you going with mercy? Are you only able to show mercy when someone else's transgressions don't exceed your own? Do you take delight in the suffering of others while still crying out for someone to help ease yours?

Amen Rodney, mercy is something hard to grasp, and harder to give away.

1 comment:

Rodney Olsen said...

Thanks for the link.

I reckon we often forget that 'celebrities' are real people too.

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