For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Our self-preservation instinct is strong. But where is the line. How far will we go to try and save our earthly life? And are we willing to throw away eternal life in the effort?
Here in Virginia we have just seen our Supreme Court strike down the commutation of a sentence of a boy who was 15 years old at the time of the crime and sentenced to six life terms plus 118 years, because he would not plead guilty to some of 51 felonies( all the same event). And by the way, the case does not involve murder. The two 18 year olds in the case plead guilty and got 10-13 year sentences.
Should he have just gone ahead and plead guilty to all 51 counts even if he wasn't guilty? Suppose he was guilty of 10. Should he have plead guilty to the 51? Even if he only committed one, should he have pled guilty to all 51 or even 10?
Every day in this country, the sad truth is that people face pressure for their lawyers to lie. They face pressure from prosecutors to lie. Plead guilty to x and we'll give you this lighter sentence or we'll try you for x,y,z,a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h i,j,k....and you could face, as this young man did, multiple life sentences and more.
Call me a simpleton, but to me, a lie is a lie. If a person pleads guilty to a crime that in their heart of hearts they know they did not commit,they have committed a sin. My mother always taught me two wrongs don't make a right.
What crimes this 15 year old boy committed only God and he really know?
In the Bible Eleazar was given the chance to just pretend to eat pork and avoid punishment. He didn't even have to violate God's law all he had to do was publicly pretend to go along with the kings order. He refused and was flogged to death.
Such pretense is not worthy of our time of life," he said, "lest many of the young should suppose that Eleazar in his ninetieth year has gone over to an alien religion, and through my pretense, for the sake of living a brief moment longer, they should be led astray because of me, while I defile and disgrace my old age. For even if for the present I should avoid the punishment of men, yet whether I live or die I shall not escape the hands of the Almighty.
In the end, the one thing it seems we must always do is remain true to our conscience.