A Nugget from New Life Network
(by Dr. Larry Ollison)
Scripture for the Day – September 27, 2019
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: (Deuteronomy 30:19)
I recently watched a documentary about a nationally known serial killer. This man had systematically planned the rape, torture, and death of many women. In fact, they believe there are still many unresolved murders that he committed.
In this documentary, the investigators probed into his life as a young boy in order to discover and try to bring some understanding as to why this good-looking, intelligent adult man had committed so many heinous crimes. Here is what they found.
As a young boy, this mass murderer had experienced much abuse. He had been locked in closets, had food withheld, and was systematically beaten for a period of years. By the time he had become old enough to live on his own, he had experienced horrors that would be unimaginable to most people. After his capture, he was put on trial for these murders, convicted, and later executed. But now in retrospect, the investigative reporters were asking this question. What drove this man to do these horrible crimes?
The more layers of his life they rolled back, the more reasons they found for his acts. But regardless of how many reasons they discovered, when it came time for his trial, the judge and jury decided that the reasons did not equal an excuse. He was not excused from the punishment because of the reasons.
There are reasons why people do what they do, but reasons do not give you an excuse. A person may say hurtful things and the reason may be that they don’t feel well. A person may speed through a school zone because they are late for work. Someone may steal money because they have a past due bill. Someone may steal food because they are hungry. All of these are reasons why people do something unlawful, but the reasons do not excuse them from the penalty if they are caught.
Some use reasons as an attempt to excuse a lack of moral standards. A man may have an adulterous affair because he feels his wife doesn’t fulfill his needs. The reason he became an adulterer does not give him an excuse to commit adultery. God’s Word does not say, “Thou shalt not commit adultery unless you have a reason.”
In the documentary, some of the people interviewed had the tendency to blame the parents and relatives of the serial killer for all of the crimes. But in the end, the family was never brought to trial. Although they contributed to the background of events, the serial killer stood alone before the judge with a handful of reasons, but no excuse, and he paid the ultimate price for his actions.
In today’s society, it has become politically correct and acceptable to blame someone else or to not be accountable for their own actions. This is called victim mentality. People blame banks because they are in debt when in reality they did a victory dance on the day they got the loan. They blame the government because they don’t have a job. They blame their parents because they don’t have an education and they blame their friends because they don’t have a life.
I know of two brothers who were born in the same hospital, raised by the same parents, went to the same school, and given all the same opportunities. Although their skill levels seemed equal, one had a great personality and became a success, while the other lived a life of bitterness and failure. While environment is a contributing factor in everyone’s life, some of the greatest men and women in history have risen from poverty and broken homes to achieve great fulfillment in life.
The Bible says that God has placed before us life and death and then He urges us to choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19). As a born again Christian, you are a new creation and your past no longer affects your future (2 Corinthians 5:17).