Part of my job at my newspaper entails picking up criminal complaints from district justices, and I did that today. They're reminders of what people can do to each other.
But before I start thinking, “Well, I could never do that,” due to my own dysfunction I’m forced to admit, “Yes, given the right situation, I might.”
The reason I don’t?
That’s right — the grace of God that disabuses me of arrogance that I’m “above” doing such things.
I’m of course reminded of Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and tax collector, during which the former said, “I thank you that I’m not like [him].” Perhaps he was inconsiderate of the tax collector’s situation — perhaps he had to hire himself out for family reasons.
Don’t we often do that, with people prone to anger or addiction? (The former applied to me.)
You see, when you understand your own struggles you’re more sympathetic. During the Thanksgiving service at my church, about half the testimonies are around staying “clean and sober” — and although I’ve never personally had a problem with drugs or alcohol I rejoice with them. Such people understand the grace of God because they knew they needed it.
As do I.