Would I?

by | Jun 6, 2024 | Vital Men Devotions

You probably hear some version of it every day, like when we look through the news headlines and you hear someone say, or think to yourself, “I can’t believe they did that!”  I’ve watched several 48 hours mysteries and it always builds up the plot to say, and this is what led to the murder.  Pick the politician/celebrity/person you like least in the news these days, or in the past, and you might even say to your friends or family, ‘Did you hear what he said/did now?’  It somehow makes us feel better about ourselves when we can criticize someone’s words or actions and think to ourselves, ‘At least I’m not that stupid or corrupt” or “I would never do such a thing.”   Most of us are pretty quick to notice and point out flaws in others, while we are hesitant to even look closely or admit our own shortcomings.  We hear any number of real life horror stories of what people are capable of, and if we are brave, may even ponder, ‘Would I have done the same thing?  

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”   John 8:7

Think of the most despicable group of people that you currently or in the past have despised for one reason or another and imagine if that were you in those same circumstances and how you would feel about it.  If we had grown up in the same situations as they had, aside from a few outliers, we would likely be doing the same things also.  Whether that be a thief, drug dealer/user, corrupt politician, abortionist, mass murderer, atheist, town gossip, child abuser, or war criminal, any of those could easily have been us, given the right circumstances.  I listened to the story of a prosecutor in the Nuremberg/Nazi trials say that most of the people convicted of war crimes were really just everyday people who were put in circumstances in the war were they really didn’t have much choice and ended up doing the unthinkable and murdering thousands of other people under the guise of “I was just following orders.”  We like to think that we would not do the same thing, but if we were born in the same place and time, it is highly likely that we would be in those same guilty shoes.  

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.    1Corinthians 6:9-11

Have you even pondered which of the twelve disciples was most like you?  Some of their personalities really come out in scripture, and some are barely mentioned (e.g. Thaddeus) and we know little about them.  You wouldn’t likely ever hear anyone say “Judas!  I identify most with him.”  But if we were in that same set of circumstances, it is likely and sad that any one of us would have done the same things he did.  But at the same time, we might also say we could have done the same things as Peter or Paul if we had encountered and been changed by Jesus in the ways that they did as well.  It could go either way, or we just remain as obscure as some dude who lived in Mahaska county, once upon a time.  So, before you cast aside someone because of their name, history, personal vices and struggles, really do put yourself in their shoes and while you may not have chosen all the same paths they did, you might have a bit more compassion for them, or even give them a second or third chance to make a positive difference in life as well, just as Someone gave you a second chance.  

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.    Ephesians 4:32

Yours in Christ,



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