How Much Is Enough?

Free Bible Study Materials for Christian Discipleship
 August 2016

photo courtesy of 2000 Pontiac Grand Am GT-1

Dear fellow disciple-maker,

In his book, In the Grip of Grace, Max Lucado tells the story of a 17 year-old boy named Kevin Tunell. On January 1, 1982, Kevin hit and killed 18 year-old Susan Herzog. The case went to Juvenile Court where Kevin was convicted of manslaughter and drunken driving.

After serving his sentence, Kevin spent seven years campaigning against drunken driving – six years more than the court required.

$1.00 Each Week

The victim's family sued him for $1.5 million, but settled for $936. This settlement was to be paid back $1.00 each Friday, for 936 weeks – from 1982 to 2000 – eighteen years. But Kevin kept forgetting to pay the dollar and four times the family took him to court for failure to comply. After one such failure in 1990, Kevin spent another 30 days in jail. Kevin was willing to pay an extra year's worth, if could he have permission to write out one check. The victim's family said, "No."

Quoting the mother, "We want to receive the check every week on time. He must understand that we are going to pursue this until August of the year 2000. We will go back to court every month if we have to."

photo courtesy of Leland Francisco

One Concern

Max Lucado writes, "Few would question the anger of the family, but I do have one concern. Are 936 payments enough for the family to demand? When they receive the final payment, will they be at peace? Is eighteen years of restitution sufficient? How much is enough?"

Life is unfair. When we're the victims, how do we get through it? There's more to it than finding a creative way to make the other person pay. In the words of Max Lucado, "Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realizing that you were the prisoner."

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32).  

Author:Paul Schlieker

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