The Criminal's Belief System

I Didn’t Mean To.”

You have probably heard it said, "That was an accident. I didn't mean to do it."  This is a defense that felons might actually believe themselves. For example, if someone was injured or killed in the commission of their crime, they may offer that excuse, but weren’t they aware something like that could happen beforehand?  You may also hear …

But how is that possible? If we didn’t mean what we said, or didn't mean what we did, why did we do it? And then why make up such a ridiculous excuse?  I believe that excuse is offered because it turns the table on the accuser.  Now you look like the bad guy if you don't say, "Oh, that's all right.  I understand."  It's actually another way to grab a position of power in a potentially explosive situation.

Criminals aren’t the only ones who fall back on this excuse. Let's say that a man made an extramarital sexual connection on his business trip. If his spouse finds out, the first thing you might hear him say is: “Oh honey, it didn’t mean anything.  It was just sex.” That excuse is supposed to take all of the bite out of his spouse’s righteous anger, and get her to calm down.  Or, imagine he got drunk and said some abusive things to her.  Later he apologized saying, “I was just drunk, baby. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.” Or, he got really angry, blew his stack and later said, “I was just mad, sweetheart.  I didn’t mean any of it.”  Such a lame excuse actually makes it worse.

Bottom line? We say what we mean, mean what we say, and we intended to do what we did. We might try to imply certain actions or words were unintentional, but the Bible says they are always intentional.  Proverbs 23:7 says, "As a man is in his heart, so is he."  Whether in town or out, whether sober or drunk, whether angry or not - what is really in our hearts is what will show up in our words and actions.

  * Required

Continue to Chapter 24

Table of Contents