Why I Cannot Be Happy
Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall; don’t be happy when they stumble. For the LORD will be displeased with you and will turn his anger away from them – Prov. 24:17-18
When I read about the death of Amy Winehouse, and my first thoughts were, “She was so young.” My next thoughts were, “She died at twenty-seven? So did Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain. I hope this is just a tragic coincidence.”
As the postings about her death circulated the internet, I was a bit dismayed to read the comments from a variety of people. Some expressed sadness, while others replied, “Who cares?” and “Why does this affect me?” I’m sure others felt she had it coming since she was known for her substance abuse. After reading these comments, I felt confused and hurt at the callousness of some people—even those who say they are Christians.
I found myself confused and hurt in the same way when O.J. Simpson was running from the police on the highways of Southern California. It wasn’t fun to watch him evade capture, and I didn’t hope he “get what he had coming to him.” I didn’t, and still don’t, have enough knowledge of his situation to make a judgment.
The same is true for Casey Anthony. Many people are so absolutely sure of her guilt, they walk around mad that she got off. Would they feel better if Casey got the electric chair? Would they sleep better at night knowing justice was served? Are they so good at being judge and jury that they can condemn without knowing all the evidence?
Although I didn’t personally know Amy or O.J., I knew that their difficulties in life could not be, as Proverbs 24:17-18 says, a source of my rejoicing. I cannot say I love God, believe in His holiness and Word, and then take pleasure when people I may not like or agree with fall on hard times or die. Besides, Ezekiel 33:11 says, “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take not pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.”
I guess I’m not as surprised by the death and destruction of people who are confronting their own demons as I am by the attitudes of people who should know better. My God loved the world so much He sent His only Son to die in order to restore a relationship that was long ago broken. That love of God leaves me no room to rejoice when scared, hurting, confused or even evil people are destroyed. I simply cannot be happy when they finally stumble and fall, for I know the love that God shows me through Jesus is the same love He desired to show them.
I do agree with most of Your Post, however I disagree when it comes to Casey Anthony!
I do not hate C.Anthony, I do not know her.
My Point is, we live in a civilized Country which has Laws we have to abide too.
When we brake the Laws, doesn’t matter who it is, we have to pay the Consequences.
The Anthony Case is about a precious little Girl who was killed before she even could reach the Age of 3.
I disagree with You when it comes to Evidence the Prosecution presented.
The released Evidence Documents lead straight to the Defendant, short of producing a Video of the Crime, the Prosecution did a great Job.
Is this little Girl Caylee Marie, who was murdered not important enough to seek Justice for her here on Earth.
Casey Anthony did break our Laws by being responsible for what happened to her Daughter, therefore like any one else being accused of such a Crime
it was not justifiable for C. Anthony to walk free, like nothing happened.
When You commit a Crime You have to answer for it in this Country.
She has not and that is why People are outraged. It was never about Casey Anthony and always about an innocent Victim Caylee Marie Anthony.
Is it right to send a Killer free, I believe it is not!
If it would be the Child of those People who constantly criticize the People who are standing up for Justice and their Child would be found duct taped
and triple bagged in Garbage Bags and dumped in a Swamp for Animals to feast on, would the same People than turn the other Cheek and not want Justice for their Child? I doubt it! Kind of hypocritical I think. JMO
We truly live in a broken world inhabited by broken people.
I do feel sorry for the victims of crime and the perpetrators of those crimes.
Criminals deserve to be punished, but we ought pray for them.
In this life there won’t be any real justice, no peace, and no everlasting rest.
This is why Christ Jesus had to come and only in Him do we hope to have a world where there will be no more brokeness and tears.
Anyone who dies without receiving Christ saddens me. Any one…..I am pro-life …completely.
Millions of children die each year. It’s called abortion. I wonder… if Caylee had been aborted, would there still be the same out cry from the crowd? Probably not.
We are one screwed up society. We focus on that which does not reside in our circle and ignore that which is right under our nose.
Thanks for letting me sound off, Jim.
Do you ever wonder if some people are dead – I mean headed on a fast train to spectacular destruction – the moment they are born? We are all born with the great taint, but the way it works out in each of us is so different. Some are happily deluded, thinking life is wonderful and not having another self-conscious thought beyond that. Perhaps analogous to Dante’s first circle of hell, where people are separated from God but not tormented.
Then there are those whose minds and volition centers are just damaged beyond common repair from birth. Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, and Casey Anthony may be such as these – people who just could not find even the most common or basic happiness or peace. Whose minds are so tormented that the bizarre seems normal and the heinous acceptable.
Jimi Hendrix is in another category altogether. Much of his substance abuse was incidental and perhaps even unconscious. I have concluded based on the biographies I have read of him that his death was nothing more than a tragic accident.
Jim Morrison is in still another category. Somewhere between the two, but a seriously damaged mortal. His biographers suggest that his was a deeply tormented existence but that he was also complicit in his own torment to a degree that the other perhaps are not.
Don, I know what you mean. The destructive nature of some people, starting from a young age, makes you wonder if they ever had a chance at real living. Huge talent, money and fame seems to do nothing but quicken the process of destroying themselves. My mind comes to a screeching halt when I try to understand the vast relationship between free will, giftedness, personality, psychology and the “great taint.” Somehow, it all goes back to the Fall and all hinges on the Cross. In the end, I simply believe that God has all our best interests in mind.
Ruth, you are always welcome to “sound off”! I like what you said about anyone who dies without Christ saddens you. I encountered a similar situation with the deaths of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Although I was glad their reign of terror came to an end, and understand the need for justice, I couldn’t rejoice in their deaths without Christ. I’m too far gone in my love and appreciation for what God has done for us to ever be glad when anyone, even my “enemies,” come to their tragic end without their Savior.
Adam, I agree that the criminals deserve to be punished. Still, I can’t make myself rise to the position of judge and jury. I suppose it is just not in my nature and I would hope, not in the nature of any Christian.
I understand your opinion. However, the sentiment of my article was that I wasn’t happy when my “enemies” fall and stumble. Again, I don’t know enough about Casey Anthony or O.J. Simpson to conclude they should be strung up. And even if they both did commit the murders, my point is it doesn’t make me happy to see “justice” prevail, to know that these people are getting what they deserve. I refuse to rejoice in their downfall. Perhaps Casey did get away with it….on earth. There is still Another who will balance things out in the end. I also know there are people who are waiting in the wings for bad things to happen to Casey, just as they waited for bad things to happen to O.J., so they could shout for joy that they got what was coming to them. I’m just glad that Calvary happened and none of us have to get what is coming to us.
Well put into words….was thinking the same thing myself on all this news but didn’t have quite the right words as you’ve put it. Let God be the judge….if your entire life was in the spotlight, would you be innocent? Everyone’s just so quick to judge. I guess that’s easier than actually looking at yourself in the mirror….then maybe just maybe the hand wouldn’t be so quick to point.