What is Your Sentence?

I am not much into keeping up with the ongoings around the world, but I do watch CNN in the mornings while I run on the treadmill.  I know, CNN isn’t a ‘favorite’ among many, but I like it because I can read the tickers across the bottom of the screen, watch the commentary and video coverage AND listen to music (with earbuds) while I run.  Yea, ok, maybe I like to multi-task.

One of the stories this week has been the sentencing of ex-Rutgers student Dharun Ravi in connection with the webcam spy video that led to the suicide of Tyler Clementi.

Obviously, this is an emotionally-charged topic, and I’m not interested in debating the case or the sentencing.  I pray ALL parties involved are able to find resolution and peace and can move on with their lives.

My focus as I watched the coverage was the face of Dharun Ravi.  Though he may be the one that has breath in him and what most would call ‘living,’ I saw in his face that he was ‘living’ in “hell.”  To me, he looked internally tormented.  I know his mom would agree with that statement, though sadly many have perceived him as lacking remorse.

To me, the sentence that he is placing on HIMSELF is far more harsh than the one the judge gave him.  (I realize many might disagree, and that’s ok. We all have a right to our own opinion and perceptions, right?)

The point I am getting at is that we all have something that we give ourselves a ‘life sentence’ for.  Something that we refuse to forgive ourselves for.  Something that we constantly beat ourselves up over.

There is nothing wrong with a little remorse, but there comes a point when we have to let it go. What is the point of holding on anyway?  We are just harming ourselves.

And, though his official sentence as of right now might be 30 days in prison, he has already lived in ‘hell’ for two years (since Clementi’s death), and I doubt he walk out of prison feeling like a “free man.”

What are you holding yourself prisoner over?  What can you not ‘let go?’  How can you release your guilt and move on?

As Christians, we are called to EMBRACE the forgiveness extended to us by Christ.  By refusing to embrace that forgiveness, we are denying His purpose, His plan for salvation for each of us.


The sentence God intended for ALL is one of Life!

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10 [KJV])

5 Responses


I am my own worst enemy most of the time. It sure is easy to fall into the trap of self-condemnation, self pity, and feelings like “I could have done better” or “I should have done this or that”.

Like you have said; we arrest ourselves, try ourselves, and sentence ourselves constantly. In the legal system this happens only once per indecent, but in our thoughts we are much harder on ourselves as we tend to do this over and over again, even moment by moment, without any mercy at all, or for that matter giving ourselves a much more harsh sentence. Yes, a sentence in Hell. This mental process is Hell itself.

Thanks for the reminder to “let go” and “let God” Then the thief will have no door to break into and Life indeed will be more abundant. just my thoughts–Great blog Gina!

Awesome read! You are such a good writer. Understanding the theory of letting go and actually doing it are two ends of a spectrum. I appreciated your blog because we need reminders of God’s natural process for our lives…Thanks again


What kind words, Scotty, thank you!! If you’re anything like me, you need CONSTANT reminders! I guess that is all part of being human. :) Thank you so much for reading! :)


Steve, what a great comment! I love how you say we arrest ourselves ~ awesome way to put it! I wish we had our own internal “double jeoprody” prevention or something like that so once we forgive ourselves for something we can REALLY forgive and let it go (never to pick it up again)!! ((love you))


I absolutely love this. Forgiveness is such a big thing. You know, Gina, amends are important, but they relate differently to the hurt done by the offender than forgiveness relates to the same hurt. Because errors very often just happen (like in saying “shit happen”), they are not intended. But forgiving – or let’s say: not forgiving) doesn’t just happen, it’s something you have time to think of, and ultimately it’s a decision. One that may have great impact on both the (unintentional) offender and the victim.

A mistake usually doesn’t put the victim with the back against the wall, but if we do not forgive, the (unintentional) offender stands with the back against the wall with no way out.

I guess mankind must learn the great lesson not to claim for ourselves a right not to be hurt, because essentially that’s the same thing as claiming the right not to forgive.

There is always some room for mitigation of course – it hast to, we can’t claim forgiveness from the victim instantly. But after a while, it will become ugly if we can’t forgive. And perhaps this is what true humanism is all about: knowing and accepting that there is beauty in the imperfection. Knowing how to accept the imperfect, in the name of mercy.

This must be my favorite Gina blog so far ;) – But it’s also because of the subject. In my opinion, Christianity IS forgiveness, and compassion. This is what it’s all about.

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a note from gina…

PLEASE pardon my 'mess'... I'm still fine-tuning the graphics and the content and, well... Let's just say I shouldn't have invited "company" in just yet, but I got too excited!

That said...I am so glad you're here!!