"A King may move a man, a father may claim a son, but remember that even when those who move you be Kings, or men of power, your soul is in your keeping alone. When you stand before God, you cannot say, 'But I was told by others to do thus.' Or that, 'Virtue was not convenient at the time.' This will not suffice. Remember that. –King Baldwin IV, Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
This week I was a part of something bigger than myself, where I had to state whether I believed a man is responsible for his own behavior, even if he had a "bad childhood." I do believe that it is hard to go against those who would threaten you with death without compliance, or that sometimes the lure of easy money and pleasure woos strongly. Our ancestors, "Adam and Eve," failed when temptation became so great they would not resist. Note that I said would not.
We still have a choice. Eat the double chocolate raspberry chambord cake, or stick to your eating/health plan. Sneak out into the night against your parents' wishes or stay home to do homework. Speed instead of following the law.Covet your neighbor's wife or car when you already have a wife (or car!) Follow God or divert from His path for you and give in to the ways of man and the world.
It's really a series of little choices, but then one day you come to the big choice. In this case the man in question made a long series of choices which led to his downfall, but his pattern of living is what became his downfall. Evidence was overwhelming and he left many witnesses to a continued series of bad choices. In the end his choices hurt us all and some much more than others.
But I was really proud of the many I observed during this week who chose wisely and bravely. Theirs were not easy choices. One even took 13 bullets to his body (two still are in his body) for making his choice to be on the right side of the law, but I got the feeling he would've made those same choices again, even knowing what the outcome would be. Just because you do the right thing does not mean that your life suddenly becomes easy--sometimes it becomes worse.He has many trials ahead of him, as it is not over.
At the end of the day I had some choices to make of my own, but I went home (under protected circumstances) feeling I had made the right choices that day. I could rest easy. (Though I'm ever wiser and keenly alert to my surroundings.)
Choose this day whom you will serve. Avoiding the choice will not get you out of it. No choice is a choice, too.