Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Love The Sinner


The above saying is so common in Christian circles that you almost expect to see the chapter and verse listed behind it. However, you won't. Why? Because "Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin" is not found in the bible. It is similar to "God helps those who help themselves." It sounds good and is used so often that we accept it as truth, when in reality it is a lie.

This quote has been used as a beating stick by Christians for a long time. It has been used against anyone who lives a life that the "christian culture" deems inappropriate and wrong.

There are a couple main things wrong with this saying.

First, I have NEVER met anyone that this saying has been used for who ever feels "loved" by the person saying it. The reason is that we focus on the "Hating the Sin" more than the "Loving the Sinner." Next time there is a controversial issue being discussed in your area and this saying is used, look at the people saying it. What part of the saying are their actions displaying, the loving, or the hating? The vast majority of the time it will be the latter.

Second, and most important. This quote goes against what Jesus himself said. When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus DID NOT say "Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, strength & mind AND Love your neighbor as yourself and hate his sins." Jesus stopped at love, so why don't we?

So, why is it so hard for us to "get it?"

I think it's because it doesn't seem fair. Here we are, good Christians that read our Bibles, pray, go to church, volunteer, give our money and are active in our faith, and along come these "sinners" and God views them with the same love He views us? That doesn't seem fair. We are the ones that are doing the work, we are the ones trying. Why should they get the same love as us? Our selfish hearts are too easily displayed.

God is BIG enough to reach into the darkest places and the darkest lives. He can handle all of the "dirty work." He doesn't need us running around acting like His little Judges in the world pointing out sin. He wants us to be radically transformed by Him and authentically loving people. Period.

So, join me in burying this quote and moving onto a more healthy way. We were all created in the Image of God, the Imago Dei is stamped on every person you will come in contact with today. If we start seeing the Imago Dei in people and not the sin, we will become a people who are defined by our love. What an awesome thing to be known for!

Blessings on all of you sinners as you go and love one another.

1 comment:

  1. Thank You. This is something that I needed to hear.