The last few days I’ve heard variations of this statement: “Love the sinner but hate the sin.” I used to like that saying–I thought it acknowledged the worth of someone, even if I disagreed with their behavior.
I don’t like it any more.
I’ve come to realize that when I say it, I’m placing myself in a situation of judging someone else…deciding that whatever sins I have are somehow less than the sins I see in someone else. And Jesus had some rather harsh words about that!
“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.” – Matthew 7:1-5
I no longer want to judge someone else’s walk with the Divine.
I want to change the statement. In a lot of ways I had already shortened it in my mind to the first three words: “love the sinner.”
But I think it’s important now to shorten it even more–to one word: “love.” That seems to be the key word in all the words and actions of the One I claim to follow.
It really is that simple. Judging isn’t my responsibility; loving is. If my loving actions can help someone else know that they are beloved children of God, then I can leave it to God to help them live the best life possible. I can help provide an example…I can answer questions…I can walk with someone. But I don’t need to judge.