Tag Archives: Rick Grimes


Read Romans 8:38-39

“I tell you the truth, all sin and blasphemy can be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. This is a sin with eternal consequences.” (Mark 3:28–29 NLT).

Jefferey Dean Morgan as Negan Smith on AMC’s The Walking Dead, Season 6, Episode 16: “The Last Day on Earth”.

As you are about to find out, this week is [un]officially The Walking Dead week here at Life-Giving Water Ministries. Why? Because Season 11 is soooo good so far and I am super stoked after this past week’s episode. Man, it is really, really good and so I have hereby declared this week, in 2021, The Walking Dead week. That has absolutely no bearing on anything, and probably will be forgotten about beyond this week, but today I bring to you another TWD-themed message.

My favorite character in The Walking Dead is a man by the name of Negan. For anyone who has watched the show and knows who Negan is, you might be wondering what on earth I drank or smoke prior to writing this. For those of you who are wondering how to even pronounce NEGAN (for your reference, Nee-gan) and have no clue who he is, let’s just say that his story on the show has a less than pleasant beginning.

!SPOILER ALERT! Let me warn you now, there will be some spoilers in this so if you have any interest watching the show someday, you might want to stop reading now and come back to this when you’re ready. We first meet Negan as the leader of the Saviors, a group who are 150,000% dedicated to their leader. In fact, this is so much the case that when anyone asks “who’s Negan”, they will rise up and each of them say, “I am Negan”, in order to protect him. Why? Because, though he’s harsh, he does offer them safety provided they abide by his rules. To fail to do so could cost someone far more than their life.

At the end of Season 6, Rick Grimes and his group of survivors are caught by Negan and the Saviors and they are all forced to kneel in a circle, facing Negan as he walks around addressing each of them. His left hand is dangling opened by his side, his right hand is clutched around the handle of an old-fashioned Lousiville Slugger that has barbed-wire wrapped around it. The bat itself is rested on his shoulder and he is clearly playing with his “enemies”. Of course, his enemies are our friends, so-to-speak, and so we are totally not a Negan fan in this scene.

We find out that at the end of the scene, Negan is going to repay Rick and his crew for attacking an outpost of theirs. Rick had done that to protect his family and friends from Negan’s increasingly aggressive and oppressive interactions with them. They felt they had no other option and they killed the people at the outpost. Well, Negan did not appreciate that gesture and so, to get revenge, he tells them that he’s going to kill one of them. Then the season ends. That’s it. They leave you hanging to the very end.

At the beginning of Season 7, episode 1, we pick back up there and we finally see that Negan has chosen to kill Abraham, who he beats to a pulp with his bat. Angered by that, Daryl curses at Negan and threatens him and so Negan randomly turns and beats in the head of Glenn Rhee, the loving husband of Maggie, who witnesses the gory horror unfold before her eyes. Adding to that, Maggie is pregnant with Glenn’s child.

From there, Rick and the group are forced to be subjegated under Negan and he get’s harsher and harsher with them, forcing them to rise up and fight. To make a very long story short, Negan is defeated eventually and becomes a prisoner of Alexandria, Rick’s community. From there, Rick begins to empathize with Negan and believe he’s redeemable. Rick has to believe that because if Negan is not redeemable, are any of them? Empathy, compassion, forgiveness, redemption, those were the things that made Alexandria different that the Saviors.

Though Rick would end up disappearing, his son Carl would end up dying, and much time would pass, Rick’s legacy carried on in Negan who eventually went from begin a prisoner to a contributer to the community. Still, not everyone is convinced. Maggie, for instance, cannot let go of her hatred for Negan because of what he did to her husband and she cannot understand why Rick and the rest of the community didn’t get avenge her husband’s death.

So, here’s the question for you: is someone like Negan redeemable? Without getting into the difficulty that Maggie has in moving past her hurt, grief and righteous anger, is somene like Negan redeemable? If, by that question, you hear is Negan deserving of redemption? No! Of course not! There’s nothing he could do to earn redemption for what he did; however, that is not the question being posed. Is someone like Negan redeemable? In other words, can God save and transform someone like Negan. The show’s response is straight out of the Bible: YES!!! No one is “unredeemable”! No one is outside of the power of God’s saving grace! The story of Negan is the story of you and I. We’ve all done things that are shameful and destructive; however, this is NOTHING that can separate us from the love of our God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let us, therefore, rejoice and witness to the world of that good news…and let us avoid falling into the pitfall of casting judgment on others.

To judge is to proclaim that you are God.

Lord, keep me from falling into judgment, but promote a spirit of forgiveness and grace within me. Amen.

The Virtuous Life

Read Galatians 5:19-25


“People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall.” (Proverbs 10:9 NLT)

The Walking Dead (Season 2)One of my favorite shows on television, as I have mentioned in the past, is the show “The Walking Dead”. Recently, I have been rewatching the series with my wife, as she has never seen it before. This is actually a great way to get more of “The Walking Dead” as I eagerly find myself in the advent of Season 5, which premiers on TMC in October. For those of you who have not watched the show, but might consider watching it, no worries…I will not put any SPOILERS in this, or at least not any that truly matter.

I have found that, on my second time through the series, I am beginning to pick up on things that I totally missed in my first time through. There’s all of the same elements such as zombies (obviously), character development, drama, suspense, humor (though depending on the season, it can be sparing), and action. But, I have noticed more within those elements that didn’t necessarily dawn on me originally. That is the beauty of a well-thought out, well-written script…there is lots of depth.

One of the things I have noticed is how the characters react to circumstances off of their core values. For Rick Grimes, who’s the lead character, his core values follow a more moral and ethical code. In his career, he  was a deputy sheriff who took his job seriously and was a typically honest guy. He’s a guy who values human life, who believes in risking all to help others and believes in honesty.

As Rick and his group go through the trials and tribulations that come with living during the zombie apocalypse, his core values get put to the test. We often like to go through life thinking that there is a right and a wrong, a black and a white, an up and a down; however, in reality, there is often times much more gray and abstract areas, where the discernment process is muddled by the circumstances surrounding us. As Rick’s character develop, we see him go through periods where he is almost at war with himself because the circumstances seem to be calling him to do one thing, but his values are screaming at him to do something completely opposite to that.

In the end, because he is a values driven person, he ends up making decisions that are in line with his core values…even if his first instincts and decisions were against those values. There is a whole host of truths and parallels between this and our lives as Christians. If we are Christian our core values, by necessity, have to be in line with Christ’s virtues of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Let’s also not forget the virtues of forgiveness, mercy, and compassion. And if our core values are in line with the fruit of the Spirit, we will live our lives accordingly.

So often we allow the world to define what our core values are and that is when we find ourselves compromising on things that go against what we claim to believe. Our challenge, as the church today, is to develop the spiritual discipline to mold our values around the virtues of Christ, around the fruit of the Spirit. If we do that, we will find that those core values will, more often than not, guide us in all that we do. What are your core values and do they line up with the virtues of Christ? These are questions we, as Christians, should be measuring ourselves on a daily basis. I pray that you make this a part of your spiritual journey.


“I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” – George Washington


Lord, teach me your ways so that I may build the things you count as virtue into my core values. Let me ever walk in the footsteps of Christ. Amen.