Years ago a young man was caught red handed with stolen mission property. They court case ensued and somehow he got off—that somehow had to do with his dad spending a fortune. He was lucky and ended up pursuing his education. He is now a vice principal at a high school.
I’ve never heard another report of him stealing. But he is far away from here. I met him the other day at a funeral and greeted him. But in my heart I still hold big doubts about his past. That type of thing is not easily undone. I think I’d feel better if I knew he had done his time for the crime. But all in all there is that pain of being taken advantage of by someone you trusted.
Today I gave some young people a job to raise money. Some of them have pasts that are not of good report. I once again felt that twinge in my gut about having them near my house and wondered what they would be taking stock of for later.
Yet we have to trust, we have to love our enemies, we have to minister to the ones that need Christ.
Tonight a neighbor’s son was mugged and beat up walking between two villages. I went to help and had a kid in my car who is a known thief. In this situation he was on my side, but other days I wonder if I’ll find he has robbed me blind . I stood side by side with a thief as we looked for evidence against our unseen enemy in the dark.
I find it so difficult to mix grace and mercy with justice. I have no idea how God can do that! How can He love me or you or any of us. We should have had that guilty sentence against us, but He forgave because His son paid the price.
How can I forgive those that I still don’t trust? How can I trust those that have wronged me in the past? How can I protect the things God has given me for my ministry and yet show love?