Hate the sin and love the sinner. Right?
There’s a difference between the person and his sin.
Yet, we frequently hear:
- She’s digusting.
- He’s sickening.
- I am shocked.
- How could anyone…?
They’re talking about a person. Yes, this person sinned, but we’re talking about a human being for whom Christ died.
And, except for the grace of God, we might be into the same sickening stuff. Did you ever think about what the Lord might have saved you from?
Over the years, I’ve gained experience. One that’s been proved over and over is the old adage, “He who shouts the loudest has the most to hide.” It’s not always true, but I’ve watched it happen often. Critical people can have their own secret sins. They talk saintly-righteous and look down their noses at others, but they are themselves closet sinners—and many times they sin in exactly the same ways for which they condemn others.
The Bible says, For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith (Romans 12:3). Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall (1 Corinthians 10:12).
Some sins are extremely abhorrent to decent people—and they should be. But, I’m afraid we forget that people who have sunk into such horrible sins are just persons who haven’t known the Lord’s grace and forgiveness.
When’s the last time you prayed for:
- an abortionist to know the Lord?
- a druggie to get saved?
- an alcoholic to repent and change his life around by the power of God?
- the author of a nasty book?
- a prostitute?
- a model for pornographic photos?
- a woman who aborted her child?
- trafficked kids and adults?
- your lesbian friend?
- bosses who trade sex for favors?
- that person you labeled disgusting or pervert or sickening?
When’s the last time you viewed that person as a soul for whom Christ died?
The root cause of sin is man’s own flesh and its sinfulness. Even saved people have to battle temptations.
Thankfully, there’s help:
- Jesus said, Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak (Mark 14:38).
- There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
- The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations (2 Peter 2:9).
Jesus set the example of compassion. What did He do with the woman caught in the act of adultery? What did he say to her? He didn’t whitewash or overlook her sin, but He was kind and offered her forgiveness. He admonished her, go and sin no more.
When He dealt with Zacchaeus, who was a thief, Jesus went to his house. After Zacchaeus repented, Jesus said about him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10).
When Jesus was confronted by the demon-possessed young man who was naked and cutting himself, and living among the tombs, He addressed the demons and cast them out. Later, when people came to see the young man sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind. (The complete story is in Mark 5:1-15.)
Jesus is God. He is perfect, and He can’t stand sin, yet He has always shown love and compassion to those in sin. He still changes lives, some as dramatically as we read about in the Bible.
He continues to show mercy.
May we do the same.
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful (Luke 6:36).