Ryan Lochte, Jesus, Judgement, and Justice

When members of the Olympic Committee call 32 year-old swimmer, Ryan Lochte "just a boy" after lying about his drunken disorderly destruction one night in Brazil by saying he and others were robbed at gunpoint by a group dressed as police officers, I was filled with anger and a sense of hopelessness. Travon Martin, Tamir Rice, and countless others were "just boys," Lochte is a fully grown man with an obvious sense of entitlement.

What would Jesus do? "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). God loves Lochte, Martin, Rice and myself with the same unconditional abundance. I can (and must!) work tirelessly for change in a social system that does not treat all with equal grace, mercy, and responsibility. But, I have no right to judge Lochte. "Judge not, or you too will be judged" (Matthew 7:1). Newsflash: I have lied to avoid responsibility and get out of uncomfortable situations. Anyone who has been to Sunday School can recite the biblical truth that sin is sin and the wages of sin are death. We are all in need of the saving power of Christ and all have equal access to enter into that healing relationship.

God's love, forgiveness and transformation are not dependent on an individual's level of social responsibility. Since I have been forgiven so great a debt as the sins that separated me from God, and am commanded to love my neighbor as myself, I must forgive and love all others, perhaps especially the ones that have done things that outrage me. All while working tirelessly to have God's kingdom of justice and mercy rule on earth as in heaven.