{Lessons Learned} We Are No Better Than Repentant Murderers

Posted on: March 11th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 8 Comments

…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God – Romans 3:23

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You are no better than him, I felt the Lord say to me.

I was taken by surprise. Stunned, really.

I had just gotten another letter from Anthony, the man who murdered my dad. I was angry and was contemplating what Anthony wrote, while crying out to God, How could he? How could he think that? Why doesn’t he see the truth? Who does he think he is?

Then came the rebuke, You are no better than him.

I fell silent and was put in my place, instantly. All my judgement, all my condemnation came to an immediate and abrupt stop, and I knew––I am no better than the man who murdered my own dad. [Tweet that]

It was a difficult truth to swallow. Truths like these don’t usually sit well.

Perhaps it’s because we’re listening to the world, with all its corrupt conceptions of how things should work instead of turning to the Word of God, which tells us that we are all equally sinners in desperate need of grace and mercy. The difference is: some know it and others don’t. [Tweet that]

God Shows No Partiality

Truly, God shows no partiality between repentant sinners. Take a look at some of the most influential patriarchs of our faith:

  • Moses ran away from his privileged life in Egypt after killing one of Pharaoh’s men prior to being called and empowered to lead Israel out of Egyptian slavery.
  • David committed adultery with Bathsheba, impregnated her, then had her husband placed on the front line of battle to ensure he would be killed, yet God still calls Davis a man after His own heart and used him mightily.
  • Paul sought after and personally oversaw the murder of several early Christians prior to being saved, transformed, and called to spread the Gospel to much of the world.

Talking a close look at the record of these men and others who were used mightily for the Kingdom of God brings the truths of 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 to light. It says:

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

It is quite likely that if you are saved, you were once foolish, weak, lowly, or despised. We all come before Christ as beggars, poor in spirit, and in desperate need of redemption. [Tweet that] We are all equally guilty of sin before a Holy God.

Yet, the moment we come to Christ by faith, we are all washed clean. There is no distinction. My cleanliness is no better than Anthony’s. Once again, this is the beauty and scandal behind the forgiveness of God.

{We are no better than repentant murderers.}

Which of God’s truths do you have difficulty swallowing? 

Share in the comments.

  • Brad Mclaughlin

    At first i knew what to say. But I need to rethink my heart. I need to seriously ask the Holy Spirit for a fresh heart of mercy toward betrayal because I know I have done all that stuff to the Lord in my ignorance. I just dont know how to persuade the Lord to move in my heart.

  • Jef Cotham

    Although Saul is arguably the most infamous and subsequently,as Paul, the most glorious transformation, I’m most often reminded of King David when I’m tempted to rush to judgment. The concept that only God can know a man’s heart is so powerful.

    The story of redemption as it pertains to your father’s murderer is remarkable and I look forward to your book. My uncle’s murderer, at last report, has undergone no such transformation, but rather has continued trying to fill that God-shaped hole in his heart with everything else.

    So, my forgiveness of him may not matter in his own life, but it matters to mine and is perhaps the best thing I’ve ever done for myself and for others indirectly. I have seen that my uncle is a glorious angel who now blesses my life in ways I can’t fully comprehend. When I finally recognized, internalized, and assimilated that reality into my own life, I quickly understood he wants me to
    live for that glory and I began to let go of the negative energy—knowing God will transform it into something good because He is that powerful.

    Before I could fully let go of that darkness, however, I had to let go of my regret because that, too, is negative. I can’t change what “could have been” or what I might have done for others had I made this choice sooner. All I can do is apply my best effort going forward.

    • Your forgiveness of your uncle’s murderer has more weight than you will ever know! I applaud your pursuit of forgivenss through the power of

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  • Margaret Feinberg

    Absolutely love the picture of the sheep, Laurie!

    • LaurieCoombs

      Thanks, Margaret!