There are different types of Columbo episodes. One I particularly admire goes along the following lines.
As you know, because like me, you love Columbo, the show is not about guessing who did it. It’s about seeing how Columbo can outwit them so they may be duly caught. There are murders that take place, however, in which the efforts to cover their tracks actually highlights the pressure they were under to commit the murder in the first place. Such is the immense pressure with the lieutenant now on their case that by the time our mack-wearing detective finally gets them, it’s a relief to the murderer. The weight of their wrongdoing, the weight of the subsequent watching and checking is taken away. It almost makes them wonder why they didn’t give themselves up to Columbo in the first place.
I was with a group of believers recently and we were exploring the issue of sharing faith and getting others to look at issues surrounding that. One person touched on the reasonable issue of some not acknowledging sin. When it’s explained to someone and they are challenged with it, some are insistent that this is not a condition that affects them at all. It’s certainly not our responsibility to force anyone to acknowledge that. We talked through in the context of the relationship or conversation, as the other person means much to us, we are to share and leave the rest to God as we continue to do good for the other.
There are other people, though, who can relate very well with the concept of sin when it is shared to them. Not only can they relate but they can also see it in their lives and actually express that sense of the weight of it and how it is effectively a blockade against truly experiencing the fullness of life. It’s something that believers can also relate with. That recognition of sin, harboured for so long and such a weight that blocks fullness. God offers such a relief from that sin.
In a way that not even Columbo can compare with, the Lord lovingly pursues us. Not to condemn us, but actually for us to realise there is a relief in confession and repentance. Once we see that he sussed us out from the start and awaits us to own up, He is there to relieve us of the guilt that weighs us down.
That’s a relief – without needing to hear one more thing.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden