Friend of sinners

th-11

Jesus, friend of sinners

We have strayed so far away

We cut down people in your name

But the sword was never ours to sway

Jesus, friend of sinners

The truth becomes so hard to see

The world is on their way to you

But they’re trippin’ over me

– from the song, “Jesus, Friend of Sinners” by casting Crowns

Andy wrote me a thoughtful treatment on loving the sinner and hating the sin that got me thinking. He was talking about how hard that is to do — how hard it is for us to separate the sin from the sinner, and indeed it is. But the more I thought about this, the more I realized that the only way you can love the sinner and hate the sin, is if you hate your own sin more than anyone else’s.

If certain sins repulse you, and you consider yourself better or beyond such things, you will never be able to love the sinner who is guilty of those things. You will never be able to love the sinner who is a worse sinner than you. You have to be on the bottom to love everybody in spite of their sin. And this has to be the case. There is no getting around this realization.

Here is why there isn’t anybody who is a worse sinner than you: You don’t know anyone else that well. You don’t know the why’s behind the sin in their lives. You only truly know your own sin, and your sin is worse than anyone else’s precisely because it’s yours.

I know my own sin; I don’t know anyone else’s. Trying to measure the other person’s sin is like being offended by the speck in someone else’s eye when I am walking around with a log in my own. First deal with the log in your own eye, Jesus said, then you can see clearly to help the other person out with his/her speck.

Here’s what that looks like: “Is that it? That little speck? That’s what you’re worried about? That’s nothing. You should see the log that was in my own eye.”

“I’m convinced that Jesus meant by this analogy that my sin will always be a log by comparison, and anyone else’s will always be a speck, because my sin is mine. I know it deeply. I do not know anyone else’s sin like I know my own. That’s why — let’s say it one more time — the only way you can love the sinner and hate the sin, is if you hate your own sin more than anyone else’s. You are repulsed by yourself and awash in God’s amazing grace, so that everyone else looks better than you. Then, and only then, you can love anyone.

 

th-13

A Special Message from a Catch Citizen

Happy Birthday Catch Citizens!!!

What is your favorite birthday memory?

Do you remember receiving something unexpected and being tickled beyond belief? Or do you remember giving a birthday gift to someone and feeling the delight when they smiled happily at your present?

Great memories and great feelings, right?

Let’s pass on those feelings of joy and happiness in a special way to our friend and mentor John Fischer as he celebrates his 72nd birthday this weekend. Be sure to send your greetings but let’s make this an especially delightful and memorable birthday for John in a tangible way.

Would you be willing to join with me in sending, on behalf of John and Marti, a generous birthday gift to the Catch to help them celebrate this wonderful day in a grand manner? I know that the greatest gift we could give John this weekend would be to meet the Catch budget for this month. We can do this! And grace will continue to be turned outward.

Here’s a little food for thought, if you will:

If it were not for John’s birthday then we would not be able to celebrate the birth of the Catch Community.

So his birthday is, in a sense, our birthday too!

Spread the joy of your happiest birthday memories and share what you can with the Catch by clicking here:

Again, I’ll say:

Happy Birthday Catch Citizens!!!

BobnearSeattle

This entry was posted in God's love, grace and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Friend of sinners

  1. kellief4 says:

    Have a wonderful birthday John! And yes, the “love the sinner, hate the sin” thing has always been hard for me to reconcile. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here! It’s hard to reconcile because then we have to acknowledge our own sin!

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