Seven years ago Marion Jones was accused of using steroids but she refused and claimed that it was her God given talent and hard work. The world believed her because she had never failed a drug test and was American sweet heart. On Friday October 5, 2007, she stood in front of a courthouse with tears running down those same cheeks that tears of joy ran down seven years ago to affirm that she used steroids in these words: “I’m deeply sorry might not be enough,” she said. “I want to ask you for forgiveness. I have asked almighty God for forgiveness.” The outcry is that she merits little sympathy and must pay for her sins. People have feasted on schadenfreude that God has become like an ant to them. An ant because they can trample on him and his word anytime they want.
In a case like this where there is possibility of restitution there are two things we need to do. The culprit must pay back what they took fraudulently and then the victims must accept him or her back into the community like the case of Zacchaeus (Lk 19: 8). Isn’t she like a prodigal daughter who got lost and found her way back? “And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son” (Lk 15:21). Look at the two speeches and tell me what the structural and content differences are? Yet God who is more righteous accepts but man: full of sin rejects. What a world! Is Man more righteous than God? It is not righteousness it is schadenfreude. The American media has fed the people with schadenfreude their stomachs are drumming schadenfreude for them to dance. Who did this girl kill? Whose personal money did she take? After all if you don’t have talents mere steroids will take you no where. That is true. Give Manuel Uribe all the steroids he wants in this world he will not beat me in any race. Steroids on their own do not win races!
People will say what about the dreams of those she shattered. First, she said she is sorry and that she could not make good of it. The recourse now is to take back the medals which the IAAF will certainly do. Those who did not win or never won while she was there would not have won anyway. Since she left did they win anything? Secondly, that is why the theory of venial sin is mentioned in the Bible (I Jn 5: 16).
When a woman was caught in flagrant adultery, the Pharisees, took her to Jesus to pass judgment so that she would be lapidated. Jesus said and then wrote it on the floor: “he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her (Jn 8:7). Surprisingly to the woman and unsurprisingly to Jesus all her accusers had absconded. That is because humanity feasts on sin. He went on to explain that if someone hurt you and asked for forgiveness seventy times seven times a day you must forgive them (Mt 18:22)
The law is blind but those who apply that law see. For that reason there is a word in jurisprudence called equity. The Bible tells us God judges with equity (Ps 98:9; IS. 11:4). Those who judge should apply wisdom, justice, judgment and equity (Prov 1:3). Isaiah was right to have said: “And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter” (Is 59:14).
Therefore, when someone falls, there is possibility of restitution and he/she comes out apologizing, we must learn how to forgive and stop making as if we are perfect. She did the right thing, her medals should be recuperated and then put her on probation. That is the punishment that fits that crime.
Until then, Marion Jones, God has forgiven you, don’t worry how sinful man crucifies you.
Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk