Something that has been burdening me recently is how often I see my focus centering on morality. Not primarily my morality, but everyone else’s. It’s an embarrassing and judgmental confession, but I’m certain that I’m not alone.
It’s not that I don’t try to resist the temptation to judge others; it’s just that it is unfortunately part of the human condition. We seem to fixate on the junk in other people’s lives, while ignoring the junk littered around ourselves. Part of the reason for this is focusing on other people’s weaknesses helps to justify the error in our own ways. While it may make us feel better temporarily, eternally it does nothing to solve our sin problem.
Our sin, our error, our junk cannot and will not ever be made right by looking at someone else’s wrong.
Jesus has provided the one and only way to be justified!
“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” Romans 5:1 NLT
All too often I hear the shaming of those engaging in what I guess you could call ‘public sin’ (e.g. homosexuality, drunkenness, sexual promiscuity). For some reason, many Christians like to pick out these sins amongst all the others and publicly proclaim their hatred for it and in some cases, their hatred for the people engaging in it.
Are those sins? Yes. Should we hate sin? Yes… but for the most part I believe it is the Holy Spirit that is going to allow us to recognize our error, not a shout from a megaphone. Lives are changed via relationship. And relationships occur through conversations, not picket signs.
I’m not saying that morality isn’t important, but it’s definitely not a reason for holding a picket sign or megaphone to state your opinion. We have to be ready to do more than just talk and gossip about the struggles of those around us. We have to be ready to love people right in the middle of them.
Gossip may not be as hurtful as public humiliation, but it’s certainly not any more helpful. If we spent as much time serving the people we spend shaming through our gossip, we might create the opportunity to actually share the Gospel.
The best thing we can do, is do what Jesus did – give our love, service, and prayer to everyone. Through the power of the Holy Spirit IT IS possible to love those who aren’t like you. If we aren’t praying for those struggling with destructive behavior; who is?
They may not struggle with the same sin, but rest assured we all have something in common… We are ALL not perfect and we are ALL in need of Jesus’ love, grace and mercy.