David James O’Connor was a volunteer wrestling coach at Curtis Junior High School and later at Curtis Senior High School. Two young men then accused him of molesting them while they were on the wrestling team at Curtis Junior High. The charges against O’Connor were dropped due to a technicality. Actually, due to another law called the statute of limitations. Since the illegal occurrences transpired in 2005, charges would have had to have been filed by 2008. He was free to go. His release didn’t seem fair and certainly wasn’t to the young men he molested.
Laws are designed to protect the innocent and the criminal. Both have limited rights. When protecting lawbreakers, they seem unfair. God’s grace might occasionally appear in that same light also. “The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT).
Grace, by its nature, is unfair. After all, God extends it to people who don’t deserve it. I deserve to pay eternally for my sins against him, yet he steps in if I ask and cleans my slate. When I hear of him saving those who are already somewhat good moral people, I rejoice. I’m even happy when addicts are delivered. But when it’s a murderer on death row who asks for his forgiveness at the last minute—and gets it—I get antsy. Especially if I’ve lived a good life most of my life. Now they get to enjoy the same rewards as I do?
God’s forgiveness has only one stipulation—and it doesn’t relate to how good I already am, what type of family I come from, or how much I possess. Repentance is God’s only requirement. In any case, my forgiveness is based on Jesus’ payment—not anything I’ve accomplished or how I’ve lived.
God makes the forgiveness rules. Instead of crying “Unfair” when he forgives someone you think doesn’t deserve it, remember no one deserves God’s forgiveness. Rather, rejoice that it’s available to all who ask.
Martin Wiles is an author, pastor, English teacher, and freelance editor who resides in Greenwood, South Carolina. He is the founder and editor of the internationally recognized website, Love Lines from God (www.lovelinesfromgod.com). Wiles is the Managing Editor for Christian Devotions and an Administrator/Editor for Vinewords.net. He has authored seven books. His most recent is Don’t Just Live…Really Live.He has also been published in numerous publications. He is the husband of one, the father of two, and the grandfather of six.