When did it become okay to break the law? And who decides what laws we can break and when? Are there no consequences for that?
I know that if I drive over the speed limit down the thruway and get caught I get a ticket. Or if I do not have enough money at the store and decide to take a five finger discount I run the risk of fines, arrest and possibly imprisonment. It’s all on my shoulders, something I have to decide and weigh the risk/reward factors.
I could blame the policeman for not allowing me my freedom to feel the speed and get to my desired destination quickly, without putting up with all those slowpokes on the road. Or I could get angry at the store clerk for their lack of empathy or understanding of my situation and not bend the rules in my case – which of course I deem as special since it involves me. I might even take to the streets and protest the absurdity of regulations that I overlooked to get in this pickle and rant and rave till I was blue in the face. (I could only do this if they didn’t put me behind bars for my lawlessness) But I digress.
Times have changed. There are new gadgets, new ideas and I definitely guess I am not keeping up with new slang, terminology and abbreviations among other things. I do have a new appreciation for truth and law, especially since I have been on the wrong side of it and paid a dear price. I found I could not “lean on my own understanding” of the law and needed to “Trust in the Lord with all my heart…..and He will direct my path” (Prov. 3:5-6). I found I could not do whatever I wanted and not pay the piper when breaking the law, even when I didn’t know the laws. I guess in the back of my mind I knew it was only a matter of time till I got caught. After all, it is called a rule or law because that is what we as citizens of this great country are supposed to follow if we want to continue living free here. If we break the law, knowingly or unknowingly, we face consequences. The bigger the crime, the worse the punishment. Colleagues in my new state home told me an oft repeated phrase: “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”
So as I asked in the beginning, when did it become okay to break the law? And who decides what laws we can break and when? Is the term illegal now meaning something else? Does it not mean, as defined in most dictionaries, illegitimate, prohibited, unlawful, criminal, dishonest or banned? Then why would anyone doing an illegal activity expect to get a free pass any more than someone NOT doing anything illegal, prohibited, unlawful, criminal, dishonest or banned? Maybe ask a mother against drunk drivers if they feel people who break the law should be given a free pass and allowed to drive on even if breaking the law. Or maybe that is one law we keep while ignoring others. But who decides? My decisions may well be different than yours and Joe down the street and Mary across town. Isn’t that why we have laws, so all will abide? Does it really make sense to pick and chose who and when to enforce such regulations?
And if we do not like a law or ordinance, then we are told to work to change it, not blatantly break it because we do not like it. In most cases there is a procedure for such change and guidance for us to follow in helping that change occur. Of course it will never happen fast enough for us, but it is still the law until it is changed.
People in this country right now illegally seem to want to get a free pass because of familial reasons, employment situations, problems back home, or you fill in the blank. They did something – came into this country – knowing it was against the law, illegal, prohibited, unlawful, criminal, dishonest and banned and now want all of us to forget that and look the other way.
I am not saying I do not feel sorry for some of them just as many of my family and friends felt sorry for me as I was led away in handcuffs for 2 1/3 to 7. But I broke the law, did something illegal, prohibited, unlawful, criminal, dishonest and banned and had to face the consequences even though I did not want to. It cost me my wife, home, and business, all due to my actions which I finally had to claim even though I initially rationalized, minimized and justified everything. The responsibility was completely mine though the consequences affected many others even to this day.
So I guess to answer my own question it is not okay to break the law. Lord willing I do not do it again nor either will you. The Almighty has made us for more than breaking laws. We need to stop putting our wants and ourselves ahead, even at the expense, of others, and do “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest … just … pure … lovely … are of good report …” (Phil. 4:8)
May it be so.