Often you hear the phrase, "Hate the sin, love the sinner." I think this statement can be watered down to the point that it also becomes a passive aggressive statement. Let's be honest, sometimes when we really hear this phrase it is meant to exalt the speaker in the sense that they are righteous and holy while the sin(ner) that they are looking down on is indecent and despicable and unloved. I mean how can someone be continually involved in sin and not turn and repent and continue to do that over and over. Are they really saying that? How about comments like, "I can be mad at you because I have righteous anger." Or how about this, "You know, that person is an EGR" (EGR = extra grace required). I think if we truly interpreted scripture in the way that Jesus wants us to, after all, He is the Word, wouldn't we want to hit the very mark that Jesus calls all of His disciples to? As we read through the New Testament there are a few things that become abundantly clear as we read: 1) Jesus is the Messiah foretold of in the Old Testament 2) Jesus is the Savior 3) Jesus is the Son of God 4) Jesus loves us 5) Jesus is the toughest on the religious leaders of the day. In some circumstances you could say that he was ruthless with these leaders of the temples.
When these religious leaders were referred to as whitewashed tombs, that pretty much sums up the skinny: Don't be religious instead be intentional with what God gives each and every one of us. To put this in another way, those of us that proclaim that Jesus is Lord and Savior have a duty and a responsibility to use the gifts and talents that God gives each and every one of us for His Kingdom and not our own. He calls us to be Holy and to be merciful and above all to put on love (not hate) to serve (not to be served) to witness (not to be closed-minded and put off).
- Love your neighbor as yourself (there is no room for hate here)
- Love your enemies (show them kindness, turn the other cheek)
- Do not hate your brother/sister(s)
- In all circumstances, lead on God and not your self or your own ideology
- Test everything (use Scripture, Prayer as your barometer)
- In all things, let the word of Christ dwell in your richly and seek the peace of Christ
- Jesus was radical.
- Jesus did not mince words
- Jesus was or was not - you have to make that choice
- None of us can come to Jesus by ourselves, unless God the Father, wills us to Him (this is hard for some, but biblically true)
Maybe for some of you, you feel convicted by some of these thoughts and words, maybe others feel the effects of being judged and condemned by others. Whether be it mental health, family issues, or things beyond our control. May be we are even a product of our upbringing and we want to break these chains and be a new link in a healthy legacy. A legacy worth Legacydads that we are all striving to become. It's never too late and it is never over. We believe in a God of second, third and infinite chances. He is patient and kind and He loves us so much that He gave His only Son for us.
This is radical. This is difficult, but with complete trust and surrender - all things are possible.
What about it? Can you free yourself to forgive? Can you free yourself from condemning?