‘Another World’ and ‘Days of Our Lives’ filled my noontime agenda at one time in my life. ‘Another World’ is no longer on-air so I look forward to an hour catching up with the ‘Days of Our Lives’ from time to time. The main characters are mostly the same, the younger ones are new to the daytime Grammy game, yet both still give their best ability to give virtue status to the demonstration of impunity. Let me explain…first impunity is a noun meaning ‘exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of an action.’ Second, it (impunity) seems to be so commonplace in society that we no longer give it the time of day or at least any real thought. In fact, the daytime dramas thrive on doing and saying anything with total disregard to the impact on the lives of others and the psyche of those watching. Maybe the legacy of the daytime drama is that of raising impunity to the level of virtue.
Within the ministry of reconciliation, impunity has no standing. To be fully reconciled – with God through Jesus Christ and with one another – we repent of our sinful actions, turning toward the forgiving One and asking to be forgiven. If we believe that our actions never result in injury or that we are free through Christ and not punished therefore we don’t need to confess our actions – then we are in error.
Even on the lips of Jesus we hear the word – Repent! We hear the word – obey! We hear the command – love! Jesus knew that because we sin with every breath we take and cannot fully come to him without the Holy Spirit – we must remain in a constant ready-state to repent. A Christian only has to read through the confession for Good Friday Worship to know what needs repenting – it is every move and thought we ever make. An excerpt from a prayer by Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell…
With impunity as our guide and mantra we may never have to pray again. Yet, we all know in our hearts that the forgiveness we receive from true repentance is not immunity. For the same injury we have inflicted on others with our words, actions and non-actions is known by God. We can never assume immunity from impunity. The real zinger is that we are responsible for ALL our words, actions and non-actions – even the ones we are not aware of. We even sin by proxy – directing or enabling others to do our sin. For all these reasons – we are dreadfully lost and in need of a Savior. God provides.
If we are to take even a small step toward reconciliation with God, God’s creation, one another we must know that impunity does not mean immunity. That all our actions – even writing this BLOG – is sin. Even when we are doing good – we sin. Therefore, we live in a constant-state of ready-repentance.
In this world, impunity is rewarded. Let me explain – the blame game that is promulgated by politicians, proprietors, and prognosticators makes it a lucrative venture to injure another movement, party or person. One has only to read or listen to the daily propaganda from political pundits on both sides – liberal and conservative – to know that impunity is a virtue. The more we can reveal about the sins of another the better our candidate, program or ideology will be. What about advertising? Our proprietors want to make sure we know that their product is better, improved, and of value compared to their competitor. Prognosticators see through their crystal ball and look at a future which suits their heart instead of relying on the promises of God in Christ Jesus.
As an observer and participant in life, I am never immune from my actions – although after accepting the consequences for my actions I always find a forgiving and loving God. I have to demonstrate and condition myself each day to make sure I do not talk or act with impunity. Which also implies that I must repent – for everything – even those things that I am not aware of. Why – because God sent His Son to die for our sins. If I act as if I don’t sin, that is impunity – every moment of every day – then I cheapen the grace given by God through Christ on the cross.
I don’t live in ‘Another World’ and I sin all the ‘Days of My Life’. I am stronger through humility rather than immunity because I am forgiven and sent on a mission from God to bring His glory into my small world in order that the whole world can experience his love and mercy. Because God acted globally, we can live locally by rejecting the rewards of impunity and never trust that we have immunity – we are saved only by the grace won for us by Christ on the cross.
Simply stated by Paul in the letter to the Romans, Chapter 5, verse 6-8 (Message Bible):
6-8Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.
As Jesus states in Matthew 3:2 (New Living Translation) – practice faith today – “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”