To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Acts 26:18
When my boys were a lot younger, the house we owned had a back yard that was lower than all my neighbors’ back yards. So, when we got hard rains, my yard would get muddy and mucky. Thankfully, I had a pretty large deck attached to the back of my house that my boys could play on. At least they could go outside without fearing the wrath of their mother from tracking mud throughout the house when they came in. However, they pined for the minute we would finally tell them they could go down and play in the yard, “as long as they didn’t get too muddy.” Jackson knew what that meant because he was a little older, and he stayed in the areas that were somewhat drier than the rest of the yard. Alex, on the other hand, had no clue what he was being instructed to do. The first place he went when he got off the deck was straight into the muddiest mud hole he could find. He loved it! Trying to keep a little boy out of the mud is like trying to keep a fish out of water. There is no keeping his clothes or his face clean.
Sinners are to sin as boys are to mud. They are inherently drawn to it; it is an inborn characteristic. They are not sinners because they sin, they sin because they are sinners. When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, the sin nature was cursed upon every human being that would come after them. It is very easy to hate people because they disregard the laws of morality and the principles laid out in the Bible of how we ought to live. It is easy to become angry at them for trying to destroy Christianity and replace it with a modernistic philosophy. However, we must remember the way that Jesus felt toward these types of people when he walked the earth. Jesus saw them as sheep without a shepherd, and He was moved with compassion toward them. He did not hate the sinner, He hated the sin. He proved that when He threw the money changers out of the temple, and in the same chapter in Mark, spoke of the necessity of forgiveness. Jesus certainly did not allow sin to go overlooked, but He came to “seek and to save that which was lost”; He is compassionately loving the wicked sinner all the time. If you are saved, then think about how Jesus loved us, even in our sin, enough to save us.
It is our responsibility, then, to love sinners and to seek to show them the way to the cross, that they may experience the same forgiveness that we have received of Christ. We cannot stand for sin, but we can love, witness to, and pray for the sinner.
Read also: Acts 26:1-18
Quote of the day: “Think of your own sins, and you will be more understanding of the sins of others.”