I previously worked as a Warden in the prison system and learned many life and leadership lessons during my tenure. I think I will share a few of those lessons this week. One many applicable life and ministry lesson is the fact that All Sin Is Not The Same.
Individuals come into the prison system for a wide range of sins including but not limited to: stealing, lying, cheating, robbery, drug selling, drug using, possession of firearms, violation of parole, murder and the biggest and of course the worse one of them all… “I’ll get to that one in a minute.”
One thing that is clear in the prison/judicial system is that sin has labels; some sins are worse than other sins. A person might receive 5 years for one crime and 20 years for another crime. Two individuals might commit the same crime and receive different sentences depending upon the circumstances, the judge, the attorneys, the jury and so on; in other words the gravity of their sentence is open to interpretation.
We should not judge people, or throw stones… because we are all sinners and that sin nature is what separates us from God. The reality is, sin has labels and in the prison system the biggest and worst sinners of them all are “Sex Offender” whom are treated totally different then any of the other sinners (more likely to be brutalized, raped, killed etc.) “That’s not perception, that’s reality!”
There is a sin classification in the eyes of other inmates and there is also a sin classification in the eyes of the public. I remember sitting down talking to a A Sex Offender and some of his peers when I was a Warden and him saying to me: “By being in prison we are considered by most to be the scum of the earth; by being a Sex Offender we are considered the scum, of the scum of the earth, we ain’t %@#$.”
All sin is not the same: If we cut ourselves small, medium or large we will bleed and those cuts (sins) are what separate us from God. Some of those cuts may bleed longer, may leave a bigger scar and may even lead to death.
- All sin is not the same in the Prison System
- All sin is not the same in the Judicial System
- All sin is not the same in __________________
All sin is not the same, however the amazing thing is that Jesus paid our sin debt on the cross. All sin is not the same, but Jesus forgives all sin the same and works for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose.
Is all sin the same in “our” system? Do we tend to think that other people’s sin is worse than our sin? Does God view all sin the same? Should a Sex Offender be treated differently? Questions, Questions, Questions?