Recently, our pastor gave a sermon in which he confessed the following:
He believes that everyone who dies deserves to have a funeral. As a result, the local funeral homes call him from time to time to officiate at funerals in which just he and the funeral director are the attendees. He does not want to be judgmental towards anyone because all are sinners, as is he, and he doesn’t feel he has the right to deny a funeral to someone.
But then the Boston Marathon bombing happened.
And it made him seriously think about his stance:
Hypothetically speaking, if he were called to officiate at the bomber’s funeral, could he go through with it?
Obviously, he wasn’t really going to be called to do that particular funeral, but he did have to consider the possibility that someday he may be called on to officiate for someone heinous. I mean, that dead bomber’s family had a difficult time finding a funeral home who would accept the body, let alone finding an officiator.
Would he have the fortitude to go ahead with such a funeral?
After much consideration, he honestly couldn’t answer that. As much as he believes that all people deserve a funeral, he couldn’t bring himself to give a definite “yes” to that self-imposed question.
And it made me think.
What convictions do I have that might be seriously challenged someday? For example, I don’t believe in the death penalty…. but what if a serial killer murdered my child? Could I stand by my conviction, or would I be clamoring for lethal injection? I really don’t know if I can answer that. On the one hand, the Bible tells us that vengeance belongs to God, but on the other hand, I would feel that the killer deserved death for depriving me of my child.
I also believe that all who have finished their time in prison should be forgiven and given a new lease on life. BUT…. if a pedophile molested my daughter, could I be as forgiving when he finally is released from prison? Again, I’m not sure if I can answer that.
And we all should consider possibilities that can challenge our personal convictions. Although certain situations may seem highly unlikely, there really is no such thing as absolute-impossible. And I don’t think it makes someone a bad person if they cannot stand by their convictions — it just means they need to lean into the Lord’s strong arms and seek His love to get through the crisis.
We are all imperfect people, and we all have challenges that are hard to manage. If you find yourself facing this kind of challenge don’t let it discourage you. God sees everything you’ve gone through, what you feel, and what your situation is. He waits patiently for us to come to Him, and like the loving Father He is, He isn’t going to reject you simply because your convictions are being severely challenged. Although we may fail ourselves, He will never fail you.
If you find your convictions to be twisted inside out, resist the urge to feel like a hypocrite or a failure. Instead, hold tight to Father’s strong hand and let Him lead you through the darkness and into His light.