My heart is continually plagued by the judgmental attitudes of Christians. To qualify this statement, let me say that I am not talking about using the Bible to judge an action as sinful. For example, lying is a sin, as is murder and sex outside of marriage. What plagues me is that Christians have a tendency to write off the sinner rather than to choose love; rather than to walk with the sinner as they journey toward Jesus.
I believe that it is human nature to rank sin. We say stuff like, “It’s just a little white lie,” while in God’s eyes, a sin, by any other name, is still a sin. I am amazed that even in Jesus’ church; Christians decide who is ‘good enough’ to be a part of the church. If two men holding hands were to walk into the assembly, what would be the reaction of the church? In some places, they would be greeted; while in others, they would be shunned and perhaps, even asked to leave.
Now, am I condoning sinful behavior? Absolutely not! However, which of us is without sin? Which of us, without the grace of God Almighty, could ever dream of a life spent eternally in heaven? Truth be told, we are all unworthy. There is not a person who has ever lived who is deserving of the cross of Christ; but it was freely given.
The story is told of a man who wanted to see the king. A large crowd had gathered and it was impossible for this man to work his way through the crowd. Desperate to get a brief glimpse of royalty, the man climbed into a tree. As the royal procession passed by the tree, the king stopped and said to the man, “Hey Zak, come sit with me in my carriage. Share with me the fruits and chocolates that I am enjoying.”
Amazed that the king knew his name, Zak joined him in the carriage but the people in the crowd began asking questions such as, “Why does the king want to speak with that man? He is nothing more than a liar and a cheat.”
When the king heard the grumbling crowd he said, “This man is also a part of our kingdom and as such, I have chosen to overlook his shortcomings so that he can begin a fresh new life that brings honor to our kingdom.” This was the first time Zak had experienced love from anyone, let alone the king.
When Zak met the king, it was a defining moment in his life. For the first time, he was not just a man labeled; but rather, he was a man who had been loved. This was the moment where he realized that his life had meaning and that he was important.
When was the last time that you overlooked the sin of a person and saw the potential that they had in Christ? It may be that this person will struggle with their sin for the rest of their life but, they are willing to walk alongside you in a journey toward Christ.
What about love? It should be the driving force of any Christian. It should be the first thing that someone notices about a Christian. Love is what defines Christianity…and not just any love, but the love of Christ; the love that says, “You are terribly flawed, but I will love you anyway because Christ loves me. We are going to work on that sin problem together for the rest of our lives and we will not give up on each other because Christ has not given up on you or me.”
It’s time to redefine what love is. Love is not looking the other way while someone continues in a life of sin, nor is love writing someone off because of their sin. Rather, love is walking alongside each other in a quest for the righteousness of God because of His glorious grace!