Is It Worth Dying For?

I live in the New Orleans area, and we have had a high profile murder trial going on all week.

The trial has to do with the murder of a college and professional football player – – Joe McKnight.

I’m sure most people have an opinion about the outcome of the trial. I am not one of those folks. I do have a lot of interest in the trial for several different reasons.

The death of Joe McKnight occurred about 18 months ago after a feud between two drivers. Based on testimony given at trial and a reconstruction of the events by the New Orleans police, it appears that Ronald Gasser and Joe McKnight had an extended time of confrontation on the highway. This period of road rage covered over 5 miles.

By using surveillance cameras, the police department determined that the two drivers were making obscene gestures, speeding through the streets of New Orleans, and trying to harm the other.

One witness in the trial who observed the ongoing feud in the streets of New Orleans said, “It’s going to end badly.“

It did. It ended with the death of Joe McKnight and the charge of Second Degree murder for Ronald Gasser.

While I don’t have any thoughts about how the trial should end, I have two thoughts about why we have a trial.

First, I agree with the witness who said, “It’s going to end badly.“

How hard it is for us to look at cause and effect and consequences. How often do we fail to “play the movie“ so that we can see the consequences of our actions.

What a difference it would’ve made had one of the two men determined to back off or turn around or simply drive away.

Can’t we see that so many things in our lives are “going to end badly”?

My second thought has to do with the words of Scripture: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger“ (Proverbs 15:1).

You can be thankful you aren’t the one killed or the one on trial, but there are many areas where you need to respond with a soft answer. It can happen at home, at school, or at work. It can simply happen along the way at a time when we least expect problems. What a wonderful thing when we are willing to swallow our pride, give up the fact that we’ve been disrespected, or simply walk away.

When I think of this trial, I think this question: “Is it worth dying for or, even more, is it worth killing someone else over?

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Verse of the Day

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. — Romans 5:3-4 (NIV)