Michael Carneal and Me

Dad had his morning radio news playing when I woke up yesterday morning. The local AM talk show was giving updates when the person said, “Courts are deciding whether or not Michael Carneal waited too long to withdrawal his guilty plea to the 1997 Heath High School shootings.”

As my mom continued getting vitamins for my dad I just stood there in disbelief over Carneal.

Fourteen-year-old Carneal is escorted off Heath High School
 property by officers after he opened fire December 1, 1997,
killing three and wounding five more. 

Why doesn’t he just admit to the shooting? I mean, he was the one. It’s on video. There’s eye witnesses. Evidence. And he already plead guilty once.

My cousins were there that morning. The day he opened fire on the other side of my medium-sized town in western Kentucky. I remember their fear.

Why is he trying to say he’s innocent now? Three people died and five were injured. Why did he admit to it and now change his plea?

Then it hit me like a spiritual spanking:
That’s just like me.
I am just like Michael Carneal.

No, I haven’t murdered anyone in a high school shooting, but I’ve had anger without cause and Jesus says that’s the same.

But besides that, I’ve tried to defend my sin.

How many time have I stood before God in guilt and, despite evidence and eye witnesses, tried to play it off like I wasn’t guilty?

Welcome to my whole life before surrendering to Christ. And, unfortunately, too much of my regenerated life after being saved.

I hate sin.
And Satan,
and my pride,
and my ugly, ugly flesh.

Francis Chan said this, “Confess sin, don’t defend it.”

Yesterday’s 10-second news spot reminded me of that and showed me how fast I am to judge the sins of others when I do the very same thing.

What’s crazy is that after confessing my wretch sin (and every sin is wretched), my Judge, the Ruler and Creator of the universe, doesn’t pronounce me guilty, but free. Completely innocent. 

The Judge says I did the sin but Jesus Christ did my time. He took the punishment then took the death penalty that I deserved.

“Sealed my pardon with His blood, hallelujah, what a Savior!”

“For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” –Colossians 3:3  

“Because the sinless Savior died my sinful soul is counted free,for God the Just is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me.” 

Humbled and in awe of the Lord’s remarkable grace,
 

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2 thoughts on “Michael Carneal and Me

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart this morning… I never thought of sin and forgiveness that way, it's completely true! -Beth Johnson

  2. V.E.G. says:

    Think of a good Michael: Michael Terrance “Mike” Landsberry, the hero.

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