Wednesday, September 15, 2004

REFLECTING ON SOMEONE ELSE'S TROUBLES

Martha Stewart announced yesterday that she is stopping all appeals and is requesting that her prison sentence begin right away. She wants to do her five months and get on with her life. She also "respectfully" requested that she serve her time in a Florida unit because the prison in Danbury, CT is full. It may be standard procedure for convicts to pick their prison of choice, but I did not know that.

Martha Stewart is not my enemy, but it is good to know that people of wealth and influence are held to the same standard as everyone else. It is hard to feel sympathy for a criminal who lied to investigators as Martha Stewart did, but I wish her no harm and hope she has learned her lesson. Whatever we think about this, remember it is not wise to gloat or rejoice as it says in Proverbs, "Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth" (Pro. 24:17). Though such people have brought trouble upon themselves, it is unbecoming of a Christian to take delight in it. Let justice be served but admit "there but for the grace of God go I." Truly, where would any of us be if it were not for God's gift of grace through Jesus Christ? True humility takes a hard look inward and will keep us from making similar mistakes of judgment. Jesus said, "Judge not so that you will not be judged....You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye" (Mt. 7:1,5). Are we right to make a judgment about right and wrong? Sure. But we are wise if we first judge ourselves.


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