Many people are quick to judge other’s sins.
by Lorelei Nettles
There are many reasons people think that others are unacceptable. In fact, many of us have such feelings about ourselves as well. It can seem like what we or other’s have done is inexcusable, but is that true?
She had an abortion! He killed a man! He was a thief! She had an affair!
The list of accusations can go on and on. Imagine being a newly converted person who has repented of our sin. Now imagine your Christian friends began to talk about how horrendous your former sin is and say people who do such things should be killed for what they have done. How would that feel? To hear people like you need to die? It would be hard to bear.
While Christians should hate sin, leave out demeaning and inflammatory words out of the conversation. While it is true that all sin is terrible and we need to stop, be careful in how far we take the conversation. Why? All people have a past and have or will sin. They may have already repented of their sin and changed their ways.
Speaking of sinful acts is fine, but being downright hurtful is not. It’s words of retaliation or total condemnation that are at issue. It is very hurtful to others when we take conversations a step too far. People who have repented of sin already feel horrible about what they have done and are trying to live differently. How can anyone forgive themselves when the “Christians” around them talk about punishable enforcement of offenders?
Forgive and forget
God says that if we have repented and do not continue in sin it will be forgotten by Him (Hebrews 8:12 & Isaiah 43:25, NKJV throughout). “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) We all sin in one way or another. (Romans 3:23)
I knew a woman who had an abortion. She had since repented and was following God. She was not only relieved for being forgiven, but looked forward to moving beyond the sin. Then one day she was in a conversation about abortion. She had no problem with that, she knew it was a sin, but then the discussion switched to hurting all women who had ever had one. It caught her totally by surprise. She could not believe such horrible things could be said about another human being. It brought all the guilt she had shed, rushing back. She turned from the conversation to hide her tears and retain her privacy. Thankfully she had caring friends in the know who helped her cope and reassured her it was not how everyone felt.
God has and will select sinners of all kinds as His children. God is not partial, but accepts all who fear him. (Acts 10:34) We love to say, “God hates the sin, but not the sinner”, but do we really believe it? Words I try to live by are in Romans 12:9-10, “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another”. One way of being kindly affectionate is in considering our brother and sister’s in all our conversations.