067. How Do I Love a Sinner Without Condoning the Sin?

28 Sep, 2012

Sometimes we get a little confused with being all loving and trying to be non-judgemental.  As if loving someone means to be all supportive of them as they live an openly sinful lifestyle like living in rebellion or eating at Taco Bell.

Yeah, “Love is patient,” “love is kind” and “bears all things,” and people like bringing up the fact that Christ ate with sinners, but somehow people take all this to mean that we need to accept people for who they are.

But they leave out the rest of the passages – which really means they’re taking verses out of context. Like if I said, “Your cake is great… for me to sit on.”  You could tell people that I said “Your cake is great,” and people would think I thought your cake was delicious. 

But leaving out the second part of the statement is misleading.  And people would not appreciate how comfortable your cake is. It’s the same with these verses.  The rest of the “Love is patient” verse goes, love “does not rejoice in iniquity.”  And Christ went on to say, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” Christ wasn’t hanging out with sinners for no reason, He still called them sinners and compared them to the sick that needed healing. 

Christ often said to the sinner, “Go and sin no more.” We aren’t supposed to like sin.  We’re not supposed to like it when the people we love sin.  We can’t support or condone the sin. If we truly love the person, we don’t condone their sin but rather try to get them to turn from their sin. 

And obviously we try to do this in a loving way. This doesn’t mean you have to pound them over the head, or that you always confront them over it every day.

So what do we do?

We need wisdom to go along with your love.  You may have to wait for openings where they ask you your opinion on something.  Maybe you need to invest months of prayer that God will soften their heart so that an opportunity arises. It’s not just about them.  It’s about you too. You need to be praying for wisdom.  It would be a shame for your love to cause them to turn off completely simply because you were a complete idiot.

It’s about them – AND it’s about you.  And your delicious… yet comfortable cake.

JN 8:1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. [2] At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. [3] The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group [4] and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. [5] In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” [6] They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. [7] When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” [8] Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. JN 8:9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. [10] Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” JN 8:11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Take time to pray: Pray that you will be able to love, without condoning but with wisdom. Today’s Fruit of the Spirit: Love.