Monday, March 7, 2011

When the Bad Guy Wins

Mingle 240

I love stories. I love to read, watch, listen, tell, write, you name it, I love stories. But do you know what makes a good story? A good villain. I mean, so many times I love stories when I absolutely HATE HATE HATE the villain, which means they are good. I even have a friend who actually loves the bad guys so much that he tends to root for them, even though he knows in the end they probably won't win.

Here are some of my all time favorite villains. 

 T-Bag from the show Prison Break. This guy.... he makes my skin crawl. He's done it all. Con-artist, murder, rape, child molestation, I think there was once when he even had a moment of cannibalism.... I shudder just thinking about him.

William from Pillars of the Earth.
I recently finished reading this book, and WOW. Every time he came onto the page I wanted to jump into the book and punch him in the face. Which is saying a lot since I'm typically not a very violent person.
Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter. Sorry, I can't help but give a shout out to my favorite book series. But seriously, the books wouldn't be as good if they didn't have such an evil guy. (Although he's seriously fun to follow on Twitter!)

Scarlett O'Hara from Gone With The Wind. OK, Scarlett is not a bad guy. I absolutely love her. She's one of my all time favorite characters from literature. But you have to admit, stealing your sisters man, trying to steal your best friends man, not caring if your husband dies, and using slapping people across the face as her main form of communication - she's not a very nice person.

George Harvey from the book/movie The Lovely Bones. Again... SHUDDER. There are nights I can't sleep because I'm afraid this guy is out to get me.

They are the people we love to hate. They make our skin crawl, keep us up at night,  and our blood boils when we think of them.  But I think what makes villains like these so terrifying is that . . . they could be real. Think about it. T-Bag was from a show about guys who escaped from prison - there are probably men in prison just like him. Voldemort is remarkably like Hitler. Scarlett O'Hara at times I feel could be any catty queen bee in any high school. William represents a whole score of rich rulers who were corrupt. George Harvey could live on your street... villains are everywhere.

When we see these villains, something inside of us cries for justice. For them to get what they deserve.  When a child gets abused by a parent - we want justice for that child. When a friend or family member gets hurt - we want whoever hurt them to get what they deserve. When the drug dealer on the corner gets away from the cops and lives a "normal" life and then we turn around and hear about an innocent kid gets wounded or killed from a random shooting that wasn't aimed for them . . . we wonder "how is that fair?" We wonder where the justice is when we live in a world where the bad guys win.

It's heartbreaking.

But lately when I hear about these things, one quote keeps running through my head. 

The beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair. 
- Relient K

Normally, I  full-heartedly agree with this quote. Because I think of "which means that I'm forgiven for all of the crap I've done. It's not fair, but I'm still forgiven. YAY JESUS!"

But if that means we are forgiven . . . and Jesus loves US when we don't deserve it . . . what does that mean for "the bad guys?" 

The T-Bags . . . The Williams . . . The Voldemorts . . . The Scarletts . . . The George Harveys . . . The person in your life that has hurt you . . .

The beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair...

Sometimes, grace is a hard pill to swallow.

Now, don't get me wrong. We need a justice and law system. We can't just "let" people do wrong things. I'm not saying that. It's more of, knowing that the beauty of grace is that is makes life not fair, is how do we live now? How do we treat the bad guys in view of this grace? Is it fair to love the bad guys in our lives? Is it fair to offer them forgiveness? Is it fair to not take revenge on that person and not make their life miserable?

The beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair. 

When the time was right, our Liberating King died for all of us who were far from God, powerless, and weak. Now it is rare to find someone willing to die for an upright person, although it's possible that someone may give up his life for one who is truly good. But think about this: while we were wasting our lives in sin, God revealed His powerful love to us in a tangible display - the Liberating King died for us. - Romans 5:6-8 The Voice

It's hard enough to sacrifice and love someone who loves us back. But to lay down your life for someone that we can't even stand the sight of. 

The beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair...

It means that through Jesus - the bad guys win. 

It's a little unsettling sometimes isn't it? Jesus died for the T-Bags, Williams, Voldemorts, Scarletts, and George Harveys. Are people like them in heaven? I have no idea. (And I honestly can't wait for Rob Bell's new book Love Wins which talks about that.) That's between them and God.

But I do know that Jesus died for people like them.

He died for people like us.

People who are broken.

People who hurt other people.

But it's true - the bad guys can win through Jesus. The bad guys, meaning ALL of us. Even the all of us that we don't like. That we don't want to give grace to all of the time. 

It's not fair. 

It's LOVE. 


  1. its not fair its love :)... Love this girl!


    jesus died for the bad guys

  2. This is beautiful; thank you so much for these thoughts.
    I have a degree in Criminal Justice and a topic that baffles me is the Stockholm Syndrome (when a victim slowly becomes close to her abuser-most pertinent in hostage situations).
    When I was little, I adored Disney movies but dreaded the bad guys like Ursula and Gaston because for a split second, I would see the bad guys prevail. The happily ever after moment always came though.

    I find comfort in knowing that God is the ultimate Judge, therefore I allow the unjust thoughts I have go to Him.

    **Hello from Mingle Monday** I'm looking forward to following your blogs!!!!
    Take care!

  3. It's so hard to wrap your head around at times, especially when wonderful people fall victim to the 'Williams' (WORST/BEST villain ever!) and the 'Williams' walk away. But, like you said, Jesus died for them, too. Sometimes it's hard, but He has a higher picture and I have to learn to accept that.

  4. Scarlett O'hara? I'm surprised. I thought she was as annoying as Bella Swan... except Scarlet had a little more spunk to her.


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