Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD my rock and my redeemer.
“Victimless crime.” Over time, our society has developed a particular legal description that qualifies some illegal activities as “victimless.” According to one legal website, a “victimless crime” is defined as a “crime that does not directly harm the person or property of another.” Also referred to as “consensual crime,” the idea is that nobody beyond the perpetrator is truly affected, thus there is no victim. I call foul.
While I appreciate the necessity of maintaining strict and clear legal definitions, I do not believe for one second that there is such a thing as a victimless crime. The reason is this: each and every one of the activities described as “victimless” involves sin. As a result, people are affected—and often that effect is far beyond what we might imagine it would be. Some examples of “victimless crime”: drug abuse, prostitution, bigamy, adultery, and forgery. While the law may state that each of these is without victim, the reality is that each creates many victims. What about the heart of the perpetrator and its effects on loved ones and neighbors? What about the lies and the deceptions that surely drag many, many innocents into the sin? What about the thoughts that ultimately led to the decision to take part in any of these acts? What about the eroding effect on society as a whole? In the long run, what is the difference in the mind leading us to act out these “victimless” crimes and the mind leading us to all sorts of other also-depraved behaviors?
God cares about our thoughts and our words. The heart—desire, motivation, purpose—matters.