I recently had a conversation with my two older children about God’s character, specifically love. The conversation started when one of the kids was discussing sin.
My middle child said “People need to be made to not sin and also made to stop sinning if they do.”
My older child said “No, God gave people a free will and a choice to decide if they want to sin or not.”
How did Jesus respond to sin? Did he say it was okay to sin or ignore the sin?
No of course not. He would often say “Your sins are forgiven or go and sin no more.”
He did not harshly condemn people. (He did get angry with the folks selling items in His Father’s house and turned over some tables. 😊)
As far as dealing with individuals (who were sinners) he exhibited grace and truth always with LOVE. He did not give them what they deserved or treat them with contempt. He would often say he forgave their sin and say “I don’t condemn you” or “go and sin no more.”
What better example is there of love?
There are so many people in the world who want to cast judgement on others. Many times they are forgetting that they, too, have made their own mistakes and deem others as worse than themselves.
Whenever I see someone struggling with a sin or just having a hard time in life, my own weaknesses and circumstances (trust me there are many) immediately cause me to ask myself “I wonder what they are going through right now?”
What have they had to face in their life that made them this way?
And finally, how can I show them Jesus’ love?
That is the answer. Love extends grace and tells the truth. Biblical truths will never be received by others if we don’t first extend grace and love.
For some reason, I find it easy to extend grace and love to others.
I guess I see my own imperfections so clearly and am fully aware of the harshness and difficulty life can often present to us. That, combined with a love for Jesus, help me to want to please Him and not be separated from Him because of a sin. And to consciously want to show Jesus’ love to others in my very far from perfect life.
That is really all the matters. If we truly love Him and others, the other things will fall into place.
Love is my focus because it was Jesus’ focus.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.