Some things are a good idea yet remain just outside of our grasp as we hope to apply them. Just because something is true, doesn’t mean that it is any of our business to ensure that the truth of the idea is applied on everyone around us. In some areas, we can find ourselves limited in our capacity to pull off the perfect application of perfect stuff.
The whole idea of “hate the sin, love the sinner comes” seems to fit into this category. I mean, really, who can pull this off other than God himself? Most of the time all this turns out to be is a precursor for hateful exclusion based on another person’s behaviors or differences. Just as often, it is a platform for comparative moral pride since the sin you could/should hate in me isn’t as obvious or detestable as I judge the sin in you to be.
- Can we really love “the sinner” when we start that “love” with name calling?
- Who wants to be called a “sinner?”
- Who is open to receiving love from someone who would label them like that
- Isn’t it kind of a flawed phrase so far as you or I are able to pull it off?
If you’ll check the record (the Bible), Jesus didn’t seem to run around talking like this. He hated the religious pretense, for sure, but other than that He seemed to just love people. The tone and context of His message wasn’t focused on the sin which we want to hate. Jesus was much more invitational for people to come into Him and His Kingdom than worried about the sin nature. He called hearts into the Kingdom, knowing the minds and choices would follow the commitment of the heart.
I believe in absolute Truth. I also believe God can take care of the revelation of Truth in the hearts of people much better than I can. Since He’s good at revelation and I’m not, I’m left only with “love the person” as a rallying cry. He’ll help the “sinner” work their stuff out and that includes me so I’ll need graceful friends for the sin they see in me. Hopefully, they won’t call me names over my junk when it’s sin before I recognize it as such.