The recent scandal involving Eliot Spitzer’s patronage of a prostitute across state lines, one of the very things he built his career on fighting, raises some important principles as Republicans and some Democrats in New York state call for his resignation. I’m reminded of the words of Jesus here:
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38 NIV
The New Yorkers I’ve listened to don’t believe a man who spent his career going for the tough, high-profile convictions without mercy should be given the same treatment, especially since he was caught by the very systems he put into place as attorney general. Spitzer is no doubt going to be wishing he’d been a bit more conciliatory with his colleagues as the controversy continues to swirl. It’s a lesson we best learn from. Far from gloating over how the mighty have fallen, we all face similar circumstances where we can choose mercy or at least use that softer touch with people who rub us the wrong way.
And if we’ve learned a little lesson for ourselves here, what of Governor (or former Governor perhaps) Spitzer? Is there grace and mercy for him?
On one level there are consequences for his actions, but I also think we can truly pity this man who poured his energies into self-promotion, self-deception, and now self-destruction. Whether or not he is truly repentant or can be trusted in the future remains to be seen. However, the Old Testament is full of stories where God forgives and even restores rulers willing to confess their sins and humble themselves before the Lord.
I don’t know if that will happen with Spitzer, but I can’t help seeing a real tragedy here involving a human being and his family who are being picked apart not only all over America, but all over the world. As Spitzer made his superhuman frown during his brief press conference, his wife seemed on the verge of breaking down. Even if the person is prideful and vindictive, it’s never a good thing to watch someone fall. The question is, will there be a chance for redemption?