Should he be made to suffer? Were there not contributing factors leading to his offense? If made aware of them, and is then able to live his life in the light of them, with knowledge as to how to function without submitting to those negative factors, should he still be made to suffer the guilt and shame for his failure for the rest of his life? A Christian worldview would answer no. We believe Jesus would answer no (Luke 7:36-48). If so, then why do some self-professed believers want to keep such a man under their shame-inducing thumb?
We would do well to remember that we are all failures to some degree. Not one human being, exempting Jesus, has ever lived a sinless life. If moral or ethical failure maintains an equal degree of culpability as does any other kind of failure, on a spiritual level, that is, then the forgiven man should be encouraged to lift up his head, not in pride, but in confident humility that he has been forgiven by God in Christ, granting, of course, that he has asked for forgiveness, and longs to live out his life in that forgiveness and repentance.
To all who have failed on moral or ethical grounds, let me encourage you out of my own moral failure, out of my own guilt and shame. Do yourself a favor: though the memory of the failure is bound to enter your mind frequently, and though the guilt and public humiliation may at times weigh very heavily upon your soul, refuse to allow yourself to dwell on those negative aspects. (You are baptized in Christ, not baptized in your failures.) If you allow yourself to dwell upon them, they will only overpower you, and ultimately yet tragically debilitate you.
Being overwhelmed, you will only want to withdraw from society; but not only society, but also from family members, and even from yourself. You will begin to despise yourself, adding insult to injury, so to put it. This is because you refuse to be forgiven. You want to pay the price for the failure. But you can't pay the price for the failure. Only Jesus can pay that price; and He already paid that price. If God has freely, willingly, eagerly forgiven you then you are free to also forgive yourself. Live your life now in the freedom for which He set you free.
This post was written by Credendum. You can find the original post here: http://www.credendum.net/home/paying-the-price-of-failure?
BE A MAN.