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I’m currently addicted to the TV show Criminal Minds. While staying at a friend’s house, I discovered her DVD copies of seasons one and three and watched both in the six days I stayed there. (I told you, addicted).

The show runs along your average cop drama lines, centered around a team of behavioral analysts. Their job is to look at the crimes being committed and profile the person behind the crime… male or female? Organized person or disorganized? Probable vehicle they drive, where they come from, and reason they’re killing. Their profile helps police look in the right places to get the bad guy.

I’ve had a couple people tell me that they find the show more disturbing than other police dramas because of the way they dive into the mind of the criminal. I don’t find this show any intense than other shows. However, there are times I find it more disturbing, though, but maybe not for the same reason my other friends find it so.

I’m disturbed by the description of the impulses, motives and attitudes that set a person to murder because I see myself in the descriptions.

The murderer is motivated by an intense anger and hatred.
I, too, have felt anger and hatred for someone.

The murderer is motivated by jealousy.
I, too, have been jealous.

The murderer is driven to kill because of his intense need for attention and a desire to be famous.
I, too, have a need to be noticed, recognized, to absorb the accolades of people.

The murderer is proud, he thinks he can get away with anything. He enjoys taunting the police.
I, too, am proud. I have, at times, felt that I was so amazing I could get away with anything.

This seems like the point in the blog where I should assure you that I am not, nor plan to become, a murderer. But Jesus’ words in Matthew 5 and 6 are ringing in my ears. Didn’t he say that hatred is as deserving of hell fire as murder? That lusting in my heart is as good as adultery? I don’t remember a difference being made between the pride that leads to the exulting of myself over others and the pride that leads to murder.

I read Why It’s Hard to Love Jesus by Joseph Stowell a long time ago. One thing from that book that stuck with me is one of his answers to why it is sometimes hard to love Jesus. He said that, especially for someone who’s grown up in church, never had a rebellious phase, has been the “good person” their entire lives, it can be hard to love Jesus because it’s harder to see what, exactly, Jesus has saved us from. We were decent people before Jesus. There’s no dramatic before and after to our testimony.

We are not, after all, murders.

Except that God looks at the heart. And in there, we’re all driven by the same impulses that drive murder, adultery, rape and abuse.

Oddly enough, Criminal Minds is the one police drama that I don’t walk away from with the complete absolution and resolution that comes when the criminal is captured in other shows. Instead, I walk away thinking, “There, but for the grace of God, go I”.

Criminal Minds reminds me of the heart I’m saved from.