Love the sinner. Hate the sin.
I’ve probably heard this quote from Ghandi a million times. I used to say it all the time. I’ve seen it on bumper stickers, posters, signs, Facebook posts…well, pretty much anywhere and everywhere there are Christians. It’s become one of the most-used slogans in this generation of Christian culture.
And I don’t like it.
I’m not saying it’s wrong at all. I hate sin. As a Christian, I hold myself to certain moral standards that don’t always align with the world’s thinking. Well, they never align actually. I’ve decided to completely die to my self, my flesh, and live in righteousness (right standing with God). Jesus paid a high price to give me an opportunity to live that way. I don’t want to waste it. My sins have been washed away by His blood. As far as the East is from the West…
Saying love the sinner but hate the sin is just a sneaky way to demonstrate how bad a person is, basically judging them, while attempting to convince them of our unconditional love. What we’re saying is, “You are a very bad person. What you’re doing is not right, and you will go to Hell if you don’t stop. Oh, by the way, I love you like Jesus.”
This post has nothing to do with Matthew 18:15. (Yes, I’m going to make you look it up. Lol) I’m talking about people who aren’t believers, and may have never heard the Gospel before.
We don’t need to point out the sin in other people’s lives. They aren’t going to care if we think their lifestyle is wrong. It’s not going to bother them one bit if we frown on their sexual preference. If we try and convince them of how wrong they are, it will only push them further from the Gospel.
It’s inside the moments where we practice true, unconditional, unbiased, unassuming, selfless love that change occurs.
And it’s not us making them change. When we love, we aren’t invoking a method or following a script to make them drop to their knees and seek forgiveness. We aren’t causing them to feel so guilty about their wrongdoing, they can’t stand themselves anymore. We can love someone, nothing happens, and we walk away. It could be hours, days, or years later when the Holy Spirit lands on them and BOOM, their life is radically changed.
I don’t believe it’s our duty to attend a gay rights convention just to hold up signs condemning them to Hell.
I don’t believe it’s our duty to sit outside of an abortion clinic until the police come and haul us away.
I don’t believe it’s our duty to post on Facebook or sign petitions against everything that is sinful.
Are those things done out of true love for the sinners, or because we have the need to be right? To prove our point? Do we think that sets us apart and makes people search after what we believe?
People need to know who they are. They need to know that their true identity lies in the fact that we were all created in God’s very own image. Man ate the fruit in the Garden thus causing separation between God and man. Jesus had to die in order to reconcile us back to our one, true Father. The One from Whom all of life came forth. We can now boldly stand before God as if we never ate from the tree. Jesus said “It is finished”, not “To be continued…”
We need to be God-conscious, and show people the radical love and grace that saved us while we were yet sinners.
Remaining sin-conscious only keeps our attention on the faults of others, and not on their true identity in Christ.
They need to know who they were created to be, not who the enemy wants them to be.