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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Hope delayed is hoped denied



One of the pillars of our legal system is the right to a fair and speedy trial.  That idea or concept is so important to the health of our Republic that it is enshrined in law as the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution.

Sixth Amendment Text

Amendment VI

"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense."

Anyway, one of the basis for this concept is that "justice delayed is justice denied".  That is to say, if you have to spend too long in jail awaiting trail or with the threat of no future hanging over your head, effectively you are being punished already whether you are guilty or not of the charges against you.

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"Hope delayed is hoped denied" is in essence an expansion on the concept of "justice delayed is justice denied".  While justice delayed obviously applies strictly to constitutional law, "hope delayed" can apply to many aspects of your life.

  • In our professional lives, if we work our tail off, but continually get passed over, we lose hope. If our reason for hope--the promise of promotions if we give our 100% to our organization--is continually put off or delayed, we eventually will lose the hope.  In essence, our hope will be lost or denied..
  • In our spiritual life, sometimes we realize the life we have led, the things that we put our faith in are all wrong.  So, we adopt a new faith.  If we go into our new faith thinking that our higher power (God) will remove all obstacles and/or that we will never face troubled times, we are setting ourselves up for a rude awakening.  If our hope is that following God's will lead us to easy times, yet we continue to face hard times, our hope will eventually disappear,  In a sense, we will have denied hope by our misunderstanding of the reason for the hope we have.
  • In our relational lives, we can get unwittingly stuck in ruts.  We can talk about better communication, being better attuned to each others  needs or feelings and so on.  However, if we continue to see little or no movement towards a more healthy relationship, our hope will lessen or get delayed.  We may push our hope back and say, let's give it more time.  But, as more time passes and progress continues to be slow or nonexistent, our hope dissipates.  Eventually, this leads to a sense that things will never change.  That is to say, our hope is denied.


Our continued contentedness, productivity and sometimes existence require hope.  With hope, we can function in our daily lives.  Without it, we will struggle to do so.  I guess the takeaways from this blog are these:

  • We need to anchor our hope in things that aren't passing.  This is the spiritual aspect of hope.
  • In dealing with others, whether in a professional or personal environment, we need to be aware of the role hope plays in their life.  In other words, we need to have a sense of what brings hopefulness to them and what drains hopefulness from that.  That doesn't mean we bear responsibility for their overall sense of hope, but it also doesn't mean we play no role no role in their sense of hope either.
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1 Peter 3:15
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect...