No Forgiveness in the Law, No Recognition of Repentance

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A young person I know has recently turned his life completely around. He struggled with addictions to drugs, alcohol, and nicotine, anything that would help him forget his pain. His pain is not unlike many young men, he struggled to discover friendship, to hold onto love, to find his place in an unforgiving, unrelenting world.

This young man ended up on the street, feeling compelled to shoplift in order to eat, sold drugs for money, found himself in dangerous situations and the women with him in more danger, and drove under the influence of alcohol more than once, and was caught by the police driving under the influence. He struggled to find himself and often considered ending his life, seeing no way out of his problems. He is reminded of the struggles of his life by the tattoos and piercings covering much of his body.

He has cleaned up his life, no longer addicted to nicotine, alcohol, or drugs. He is happily married with children. He is back in school, receiving excellent grades in his classes. He is considering moving forward, hoping to attain a law degree. The tattoos and piercings will be expensive to remove, some are not easily hidden. For him, it is not the tattoos or piercings that will prevent his ability to overcome his past. It is his DUI arrest. It seems people interested in the law are not allowed to have problems in their youth, especially problems with drinking and driving.

I do not condone drinking and driving, or driving in an impaired manner. It is dangerous, and people are killed much too often by drunk drivers. However, it is the politicians, the police, the lawyers, and often judges who drive drunk and get away with it. Why is a young man or woman unable to study and take the tests enabling them to practice law because of one DUI? It seems hypocritical to me. “Don’t drink and drive; at least don’t get caught, before you become part of the law. After, it is perfectly fine.”

The law is never blind, regardless of the pictures of justice blinded. It seldom forgives. Men who do cruel, mean, and awful things should never be totally forgiven, I don’t want a rapist or a murderer living next door to me or my family. However, many of our neighbors have driven under the influence and been caught by the police. We don’t fear them or use it against them when they seek employment or education. We continue to be their friends, we cheer when them on in their efforts.

Jesus Christ often reminded his followers, of whom many of us are, of the importance of forgiveness:

 “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned; forgive and ye shall be forgiven”[1]

“Take heed to ourselves; if thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.”[2]

“. . .He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone. . .”[3]

Those who make rules forget the great command to forgive, to understand that all men can change. Men and women have the ability to change, to improve, and become better, as the young man I know has changed. His repentance, his complete change should be recognized, should be understood, and given the opportunity to make himself into a valuable member of society.

It’s too bad the law doesn’t recognize repentance.

[1] KJV: Matt. 5:7

[2] KJV: Luke 17: 3-4

[3] KJV: John 8:

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