Forgetting The Log in Our Eye

As the summer winds down, we are also finishing our look at the book “Half Truths” by Adam Hamilton. This week we looked at the half truth of “hate the sin, love the sinner”. As with all half-truths, it is a well-intentioned statement. We are trying to say that we love all, but no their sins. People are welcome here, but we don’t condone those actions. As we think about this more, this statement causes us to forget that we have our own sin.

What is Sin?

Sin simply put is straying away from the path or to miss the mark that God has for us. Sin isn’t a good thing, but it is something we all do.  Trying to rank sins, or saying that all sins are equal supports this half-truth of “hate the sin, love the sinner”, and counters what scripture teaches.

Hate the sin…

Who did Jesus hang out with? He was with tax collectors, prostitutes, drunkards, adulterers, cheaters, thieves, and other “sinners”. Jesus ate with them, healed them, and called them to be his disciples. We never heard Jesus say, “I hate your sin, but I love you.” Jesus preached about grace and forgiveness of sins. Jesus only got mad about sin when church officials were committing sin.

…love the sinner

When we take the approach of loving the sinner, what is wrong with that? Shouldn’t we love sinners? Of course we should love sinners! BUT Jesus calls us to love our neighbor, He never said to love the sinner. Our neighbor is everyone that we meet, will meet, or never meet. Basically our neighbor is everyone. When we use the mentality of love the sinner, we put on a lens of judgement.

““Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Matthew 7:1-5

If we love someone because they are sinner, and not our neighbor then we are putting more focus on the sin, not them as a person.

Final Thoughts

We should love our neighbor despite the fact we are a sinner.  There are some sins that we should hate” murder, oppression, abuse, racism, injustice, and indifference to others. We should work against these things, by showing love to those involved. Our job is to love, not judge. There are enough Christians who are quick to point out others sins and forget their own. Let’s love one another and lay aside our sin, while showing humility and grace.

God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle

We started out our night with some Highs and Lows

Think of a tough situation you have been in. What was said to you?

Odds are, it was something along the lines of “God won’t give you more than you can handle. “

Well this statement is very well intentioned, there are some limitations and assumptions put onto God that aren’t completely true, a half-truth if you will.

This saying comes from 1 Corinthians 10:13 which says, “ No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

Looking back to the original Greek the word for temptation in Paul’s context actually means tested.

What did Corinth look like?

Paul was writing to the Corinthians who were pagan worshipers before they became Christians. The Corinthians worshiped aphrodite, idol worship and prostitution were rampant in the temples. Though the Corinthians were becoming Christians they kept regressing to their old ways.

Earlier in this passage, Paul was also talking about how the Israelites were tempted and this isn’t something that just the Corinthians were going through. Basically he was saying that we will be tempted/tested at some point.

What is this passage not about?

You see Paul wasn’t addressing the hard times in our lives. He was referencing the temptations and testings that come in our everyday life. NOT difficult times that will/have popped in our lives.

Good News!

When Paul was talking to the Corinthians he was saying that God wont tempt/test them more than they can endure.

In times of temptation, we may not look very hard for a way out of that situation, but there is one. This is the Spirit leading us a way from temptation.

The problem here is that, though God provides a way out of temptation; it’s that we don’t pursue it.

God doesn’t tempt us; we do a good job of that our selves. James 1:13 tells us that.

Where they half-truth misses the mark

There are stresses and emotions that can be too strong for us to handle. Some turn to unhealthy ways to handle these emotions, others turn to help.

Remember what we talked about the first week of F.I.S.H.? We talked about “Everything Happening For a Reason”.

God doesn’t give us these bad situations, life happens, people hurt us. Know that God is with us in all situations, good and bad. 1 Peter 5:7 talks about this.

God will always help us handle all that we’ve been given. Are you pursuing those He has sent to help?

What to say instead?

For those going through tough times, here is a good thing to say: I love you and God loves you. God will be with you. Or How can I help?