Pop Quiz. What is the definition of impunity?

“You can lie to a building; you cannot lie to a person with impunity.” Ravi Zacharias

“Alone, we cannot face ‘the mystery of iniquity’ with impunity. Only Christ can overcome the powers of evil. Only in and through him can we survive the trials of our solitude.” Henry Nouwen

These quotes were read the same day from two different books. The word ‘impunity’ stuck out because I have never read the word impunity before. I did not know what it meant. I keyed it into my Word program, highlighted it, and looked it up.

Impunity: Exemption from punishment, harm, or recrimination.

Recrimination: An accusation made against somebody who has brought a previous accusation.

I have read or heard, however, the word impudence before. Must likely I heard it in a movie, set in an 1800’s time-frame in England. The word impunity isn’t heard in conversations with the local present day crowd, unless one is a lawyer or a judge or something of that nature. Yet the concept of impunity is woven throughout our culture and beyond.

Really, who wouldn’t want to claim impudence? Honestly, when I make a bad decision, either premeditated or thoughtless, my wish is to not suffer any consequences. I drift toward impunity. Who wouldn’t?

My wife and I have a houseful of children. I wonder if some of them took a seminar on how to garner impunity. They are experts at turning on tears, deflecting, finger pointing, changing the conversation, and I get ‘played’ quite often. But Barbara, my wife and in-house prosecutor is well read. Crime And Punishment you will find tucked nicely under her pillow. She, bless her, has had a ‘head-tilt arms-on-hips’ response for me when I try my ‘lawyer’ on with the children. All she has to say is ‘Gerald!’ and I know I missed it again. She then steps in and I listen and learn as she prosecutes and doles out the sentence. She doesn’t flinch when they say sympathetically “I didn’t mean it, I didn’t mean kick him in the shins.” I am sure any mother reading this is nodding in agreement and the fathers are grunting and scratching their scalps.

I have been meditating on a passage of scripture in which a woman was brought to Jesus. She was accused of adultery, caught in the very act, and the religious high-brows brought her to trap Jesus. Read it in the beginning of chapter eight of the gospel of John. If there was anyone who had the authority to grant impunity it was Jesus, especially because no recriminations could be tossed his way. Impunity was granted to all in the scene. The woman and the high-brows walked away impudent.

Thanks for listening as I wrap my brain around a newly learned word.

Bonus phrase for parents: “Be careful not to point a finger at others, because three are pointing back at you.” My Wife (An oft used phrase she learned as a child.)

Challenge: Try to use the word impunity or impudence in a sentence today.

Redemption: The Hope for Transformation.

Abused freedom holds within in it the seed of redemption.

Depravity holds within it the seed of redemption.

Redemption’s necessity is only because things go awry, mostly humans go awry.

I think it was in Ravi Zacharias’ book Why Jesus that one communist/atheist country is allowing Christianity in to quell the instability and in fighting. The concept of redemption was the catalyst they put their stock in to stabilize their country.

The more that time goes by, the tighter I embrace the concept of redemption. Without it humanity is in utter despair; not to mention utter disrepair…I am humanity. Christianity’s unique element is redemption. The absolute center of the faith is the hope of redemption. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ continues to echo off the mountains, even though the characteristic of echoes are their fading decibels.

I recall a time in church years back where a young lady was singing “I Know My Redeemer Lives”. This girl started the song with the charisma of Nicole C. Mullen herself (The artist that sent this song to the top of the charts.) and as she continued she either forgot some lyrics or went off key and she struggled to get back on track and ended up stopping. She apologized. I shouted from the back “No! It’s okay. Keep going.” This was in a pretty subdued church where cat calls rarely or never happened. My passion got the better of me because of the huge epiphany. She was singing about redemption and I saw that God could even redeem her situation. He already had, in my heart anyway.

Is there a situation that you feel is irredeemable? Let me throw some hope your way. Redemption is more than an idea. It is emanating from the Christ. Jesus oozes restoration. Without Jesus the redeemer I am a man most miserable.

This song remains one of my favorites and gains more depth as my earthly journey continues…