We have heard of the young boy lynched by a group of men in Lagos State, Nigeria because he committed a crime and many comments about the incident, however, I will like to lend my wee voice against this menace called mob action or jungle justice.
For some years now, many lives have been lost through armed robbery or mob action/jungle justice. I could recall the four young and vibrant students of the University of Port Harcort, River State Nigeria, whose lives were taken through mob action that left the country in tears and many others incidences for flimsy excuses including this recent one. The question is, has it solved the problem?
No man nor woman has the right to take away another's life for whatever be the reason. if one can kill for any reason then there is no difference between the victim and prosecutors, we remember Christ asking the Jews "If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her" (John 8:7) and in 1John 1:8 "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us".
What then makes us different from the first killer if can raise our hands to kill him? Nothing! It is in our ability to show compassion to the sinner that we make a difference. The group of men that lynched that young boy deserves deep cleansing and pardon with a view of conversion because they are not different from the young boy whom they killed.
Pay Attention now!
"Do not judge and you will not be judged yourselves" is a word of Jesus that indeed seems very hard to live up to. but it contains the secret of a compassionate world.
Abba Moses - a follower of St Anthony of Padua once said to a friend:
"To die to ones neighbour is this.
To bear your own faults and not to pay attention to anyone else wondering whether they are good or bad.
Do no harm to anyone, do not think anything bad in your heart towards anyone, do not scorn the man who does evil, do not put confidence in him who does wrong to his neighbour, do not rejoice with him who injures his neighbour....
Do not have hostile feelings towards anyone and do not let dislike dominate your heart"
With these words it is therefore folly for a man who has a dead person in his house to leave him there and go to weep over his neighbours dead.
A story was told about Abba Moses thus:
A brother committed a fault. A council was called to which Abba Moses was invited, but he refused to go to it. Then someone was sent to say to him, 'come, for everyone is waiting for you.' So he got up and went. He took a leaking jug, filled it with water, and carried it with him. The others came out to meet him and said to him, 'What is this , Father?' The old man said to them, 'My sins run out behind me, and I do not see them, and today I am coming to judge the error of another.' When they heard that they said no more to the brother but forgave him.
This is what makes us different from the sinner whose offences we now know.
Dear friends let us learn to forgive and to make a difference even in worst case scenario.