The question of innocence

Russ Lawson

March 31, 2014

Have you ever thought about innocence? I mean in regard to how innocent do you feel, (in general), about your life? Technically innocence is defined as, “the state of being not guilty of a crime or other wrong act” (Webster). I guess when we judge ourselves, the matter of guilt or innocence would fall under what you perceive as a crime. I read a couple of interesting reports regarding self proclaimed innocence that you might find interesting also.

Take for instance the credit union manager in Eugene, Oregon, who was charged with embezzling $630,000 from her company over 6 years. The woman admitted to a jury that although her hands had indeed taken the money, her heart, mind and spirit were innocent because it was one of her multiple personalities that had committed the crime.

Then there was the soccer fan in London who was convicted of threatening a well known French soccer star. When the guilty verdict was handed down, the fan grabbed the prosecuting attorney in a headlock and attempted to punch him, screaming, “I am innocent! I promise! I swear on the Bible!”

Then there was a man in Bay City, Michigan, pleading innocent to the charge of stealing some rings. He changed his mind when he learned that his girlfriend was in the hallway outside the courtroom showing off the rings. (Ben Franklin’s Almanac)

You see, each of these people proclaimed innocence, until they were faced with the evidence and judgment, really, until they were faced with the truth. Again, how innocent do you feel about your life?

2 Timothy 4:1 speaks of a future where we will be” “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom.”

Sometime back I had a conversation with a man who declared that he had “no sin in his life”. I read to him 1 John 1:8-10 which says: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” I asked him what he made of what John wrote. I remember his response very clearly even today. He said, “I don’t know what it means, but it doesn’t mean what it says.”

How about you, does God’s word mean what it says or not? Hebrews 4:13 reminds us: “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Guilty or innocent, what do you think God will say about you?

Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is the Director of World Christian Literature Outreach and can be reached at rlawson@wclo.net. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.