WHAT ABOUT RAY RICE?

He should never have hit her.  She should never have hit him.  And just because we all know it (or think we know all of the details) doesn’t justify our punitive condemnations.  It is personal and they must deal with it along with their families and inner circle of supporting allies.  We should consider ourselves, our own failures and disgusting sins and then offer prayer unto God for them, each other and ourselves!

Everybody has a word for Ray Rice.  Everyone has a criticism or some critique of his behavior.  Far too many have reached out to castigate him while others have written him off with their personal condemnations.  Concern is one thing while condemnation is another!  Enough already!

Why have we become so quick to condemn others when we ourselves live no better?  The onslaught of condemning opinions is the evidence.  “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.”  James 1:26 NKJV  These rants of self-righteousness and utter disgust are the clues of our own deficiencies.  Every derogatory thought or penned reasoning reveals a deep flaw within.  We easily lose our objectivity as long as it is someone else that we focus upon with harsh scrutiny or close intricate inquiry.  The destructive and abusive behavior witnessed in a video is matched by the harsh and condemning responses of total strangers who are willing to destroy Rice’s reputation, his ability to continue in his livelihood, or hope of experiencing rehabilitation, restoration, or personal growth to deal with his anger and abuse issues.  Calling wrong what it is should be done, but condemning is not our business!  That belongs to God!  “You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.”  Leviticus 19:16 NKJV

Is it better to condemn everyone that sins over the airwaves and through social media than to seek to give help, offer assistance, pray, support, find a means to amicable solutions, or options on how to discuss, agree or disagree?  Does everyone have to die when they mess up and not be afforded a chance to get better or do better?

I fear that we will destroy each other with our fingers over an ipad or iphone, a laptop, or by saying too much with our harsh insensitivity with disgust and disdain for others who fail or fall.  It is neither good for us or for those we aim our spewing toward.  It is easy to give aide to shrouding others with our self-righteousness and become an ally to parades of condemnation.  However, the truth will prevail that all of us are covered in shrouds of our own making.  And these self-created shrouds do little but deceive each of us into thinking that we’re better than others, especially those whose business is so obvious and found to be ”newsworthy” by people who are in the business of making money through what they deem as “news.”  

What helps us to come back to some sense of reality and decency, compassion and sensitivity is having our own names run along the news line or the subjects of “breaking news.”  What if your most recent improprieties were put on the airwaves?  And what if every mishap, mistake, or misspoken word was publicized for everyone to read and view?  What if your childhood sins were fodder for news commentators and analysts.  All of a sudden it makes sense that people shouldn’t be talking about this so harshly.  Now, where is prayer, sensitivity, mercy, and love?

Even more sobering for each of us is a personal encounter with God.  We all stand stall with grace and righteousness when we compare ourselves to one another.  However, Isaiah’s reality changed when he says “I saw the Lord sitting on a throne . . . So I said:  ‘Woe is me, for I am undone!  Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.'” Isaiah 6:1, 5 NKJV

Ray, you messed up!  You were wrong to put your strength in a strike upon your ‘then-fiancé.’  You should never do that and you should be held accountable for your errant behavior.  You should also seek help to learn how to manage your anger and channel that energy into something positive.

But I have to apologize to you as well.  I apologize because too many of us are shredding you with such condemning declarations.  I apologize because too many of us want you to not only be held accountable for your actions, but also want to take everything from you and leave you with nothing.  I apologize because total strangers who know you not or have very little information about you have sized you up as an insensitive brut that deserves to be destroyed.  I apologize because too many of us don’t want you to have a chance to try harder, to do better, and to reach higher to the better man that lives within. I’m sorry that so many of us want vengeance without mercy!

Will we ever learn to show mercy toward others that sin grossly and publicly?  Come Lord swiftly, and help us to see and appreciate how You treat us with mercy daily so that we may show the same to others!  

Don’t add to what is already a burden for the Rice family . . . they are victims all over again every time we post our insensitive and condemning thoughts about them!

I will not join the slaughter . . . I will pray for you Ray Rice, your wife and family!  There is still hope for you and yours!!

“Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.  Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”  Matthew 7:1-5 English Standard Version

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