Amid all the discussion about the death penalty recently, a lot of venom exists, and rightfully so. Some of the crimes committed are horrific, with death row inmates admitting their guilt. However easy it is to not care about the suffering these criminals endure, I've found myself suddenly taken back by the idea, my own lack of caring, on how the penalty is carried out. Maybe even on my agreement in general with the death penalty where the accused does not freely admit guilt. That happened because Matthew 10:16 came to mind. After looking it up in a few different versions, it seems that the common translation in the versions I often read says to be prudent as serpents, guileless as doves. So exercise good judgment and do not cheat or mislead. We see bad judgment, cheating, and misleading in a lot of court cases. Some think it's for the greater good - to close a case, or because they believe the person being judged really did the crime and the evidence just needs a little help. We also see bad judgment when criminals are let free after terrible crimes against people. We hear of something awful, then find that this person did the same thing a few years ago, yet they only spent a short time in prison and were allowed access to us again. It's easy to feel anger and violence when we feel afraid, easy to want criminals to suffer when we feel wronged. But is that the right way to think? While it's not wrong to want justice, I think many of us recently have gone too far in our idea of what justice is, not seeing it for the sorrowful, painful result of sin that we'd prefer never happened in the first place. We've become bloodthirsty, and that doesn't seem at all wise. Rejoicing over justice is one thing, but rejoicing in the personal suffering, and comments such as "I'd love to be the one to put a bullet in him" or "Who cares if he suffers during the execution, his victim suffered more, so I'd buy popcorn and watch," that's not rejoicing over justice. That's rejoicing over someone else's suffering. There is a difference. Evidence that this is true is pretty simple - it's rare to hear anyone who makes these comments during the carrying out of the death penalty make any similar ones when the person who did the crime gets caught and taken off the streets. The streets became safer THEN, so where was our joy? Maybe it's time to rethink our attitudes about justice. About ourselves. About what Matthew 10:16 means if we take it and apply it to all aspects of our lives.