Love The Sinner…

This statement starts with love but ends with judgment.

John 8:1-11

Reference: “When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”” John‬ ‭8:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Explore: There is a common saying often used when Christians are addressing certain issues in people’s behaviour. It’s meant with love, but has caused a great deal of division: Love the sinner, Hate the sin.

This statement starts with love but ends with judgment.

I recently heard Tony Campolo explain how misleading this statement can be.

A gentleman was talking to a pastor about a certain issue in his life and the pastor explained while he didn’t believe what he was doing was right, he followed the principle of “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”

The gentleman replied by saying, “That’s not what the Bible says at all. Jesus taught us to love the sinner then go and look at our own sin. When we find no sin in our own lives then we can come and judge another person in their sin.”

How quick we are to throw stones at others when our lives are riddled with things that separate ourselves from God.

Application: There are issues still dividing the church today and many well-meaning people who are trying to discern the path of Godly wisdom.

Today’s passage from John 8 reminds us that so often we put ourselves in Jesus’ place. We are the ones who want to say “Go now and leave your life of sin” when really we should be dropping our stones and admitting to our own sin.

No one is perfect except Jesus. Let us learn the love and grace He constantly offered and drop our stones of judgment.

Prayer: Lord, forgive us when we throw stones of judgment at other people. May we look to others with love and compassion, noticing our own short comings first. Amen.

What stones of judgment do you need to drop?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.