Criminal defendants often have a hard time focusing on the evidence that the judge is about to hear which implicates their guilt. The focus as they discuss their case is limited to their perspective. The conclusions from their perspective are one-sided and often leave them with the belief that their situation is not as bad as everyone is saying it is. Even when there is a recognition that they did something wrong, the defendant will often want to explain why this was a situation which was out of their character. They know their potential and want others to see past their faults.
The problem with that is that there is a judge or jury who is going to hear more than just one side. There is evidence to suggest that the limited perspective of the defendant is flawed. The prosecution is going to depend on testimony which will often be contrary to the defendant’s perspective as they attempt to establish guilt. Because the balance of justice depends on it, the prosecution is likely not as interested in the potential in people as they are the justice for the conviction.
We all want others to see the good in us and believe deeply that we deserve mercy. We sometimes can blur the lines between consequences and responsibility. That is, when we make mistakes we may move past the consideration that we have done something wrong immediately into the justification that we shouldn’t be punished too harshly for it. Our desire for others to see our potential as well as to highlight our strengths can hinder our objectivity in taking responsibility for the things we have done.
Without responsibility being a part of the equation, there really is no mercy at all. Justice requires mercy and vice versa or the legitimacy of either is compromised. On an individual level, this means we must be able to clearly see the responsibilities we have and admit it when we fail in one of them. When we are able to see it, admit it and agree that it is not acceptable then the promise of our character can be fulfilled. Without that recognition, we lack the ability to walk out of the mindsets that allowed for the failures in the first place.
We all need Redemption and Forgiveness. There is no way that either can be offered if we don’t first stand accountable as flawed individuals. Our deliverance from the evil we allow to be a part of our conduct and that conduct’s consequences must be preceded by honesty. The honesty of responsibility for our own condition with sincere humility and desire for Restoration is necessary before we are Transformed. Restoration will manifest where Redemption leads through the permission of repentance.