Over the years you read of people who have been arrested for crimes that they have reportedly committed.  The “police blotter”, as it was called in yesteryear, suddenly gives you a run down on the crimes that were supposedly committed.  Time slips by while the individual remains incarcerated.  Finally, it makes its way to the court and a “plea bargain” is negotiated, where the prosecutor and the attorney conclude that a “minimum” sentence is negotiated.  The judge feels that this has been brought to an “agreeable” conclusion and pronounces a sentence. Case closed… or so it seems.

No matter the sentence, it affects the entire family from multiplied directions.  We become aware that somehow this is not a just conclusion, but should the entire family be punished for the act or acts of one person?    While we might find agreement that the individual should be punished, there has to be a way where the family does not bear undue punishment.

In noticing the advertisements of attorney’s of recent, the obvious is that they are specialists in certain areas.  Proficiency is the name of the “game”.  Some years ago I was speaking with an attorney and he commented: “I started out as a criminal lawyer.  “My first case involved a man whom I knew to be guilty, and yet I was able to deliver him from a conviction.  I decided there and then that I would not continue in that ‘arena’.”

Romans 1 and 2 are great in presenting the fact that God, being a righteous judge, will adjudicate a case and do so righteously, because He is righteous!  He also will utilize “kindness” as a tool in exercising his responsibility as a judge.  And further in the chapter, we read of another aspect of His character: “no partiality”.  (Verses 4 and 11)

The apostle says that “they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, the conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.” (vs. 15-16) In reading this portion of God’s Word, we recognize some of the principals that should apply in dealing with un-principled people.

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