I was recently talking to a co-worker about one of my former high school classmates and how he made one really bad decision one night and killed someone while he was drinking and driving. We were discussing how people’s lives can change so quickly and how people that you knew when you were younger can turn into someone completely different.
The conversation was more about comparing crazy stories when all of a sudden, this co-worker mentioned how we need to pray for these people. These are the people who can come out of jail one day and witness to others about how they have experienced the lowest lows and how they have been in some of the worst situations that people can be in, but they have come out the other side a better person. These people could relate to those who have no desire to attend church or to find a relationship with God.
I thought about how over the years, I have prayed for many things. I’ve prayed for success, motivation, health, safety, my family, my friends, those suffering from illnesses and those who are sad or alone (whether I know them or not), but I haven’t spent much time praying for this guy, who at 18 made the biggest mistake of his life. I don’t know if I’ve spent any time praying for others like him who are serving time for their crimes.
After the tragedy, there was gossip all over town about how the captain of our football team managed to ruin his own life and took someone else’s. Sure, we had pity for him, but it was as if we all stuck our noses up at him and ignored all of our own transgressions. I’m sure people, myself included, spent more time talking about him than we did praying for him. It’s shameful, really.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” -Matthew 7:1-5
We have all made stupid decisions in life, and yes, some are worse than others, but we still need to show the same kind of grace to everyone. God shows us grace all the time, and who better to model ourselves after than Him?