The Myth of “Love the Sinner, hate the Sin.”
I think I have a unique spiritual gift. I can see your sin. Clearly. I mean, I can see it while riding a horse over a distant bridge. Your sin. It’s embarrassingly easy for me to spot.
I’ve had this gift since I was a young child. I could see it in my two sisters. My parents. Schoolmates and even people far away. It just seemed to yell out “Look at me. I’m sin.”
And then I heard it. Justification from the pulpit. The man said “Love the sinner, but hate the sin.” I realized I needed to be a bit better at loving the sinner. I had the “hate the sin” part down, but was a little weak on the second half of the saying.
I started noticing that Jesus was really good at loving sinners. He clearly told us to hate the sin, right? He even pointed out people’s sin. And we want to be like Jesus, so we should as well….
But then I saw it – embarrassingly not too long ago. It’s in the so-called sermon on the side of a hill. Matthew chapter seven I believe. Something about a log and a piece of sawdust. I could relate to this metaphor because I’d done quite a lot of carpentry in my day. If you get a piece of sawdust in your eye, it really hurts and sometimes you need help getting it out.
I think Jesus was trying to tell me I needed to help my friends get the sawdust out of their eyes. I’d be happy to…. But, wait…what was that? I have a tree growing out of my eyeball? Odd? Never noticed that. Guess I’d better get a lumberjack to come over and bring in the heavy equipment. Get that sucker outta there. (So, I can help my brother, with that speck of dust in his eye, of course).
That seems to be the clear teaching in the scriptures. Hate YOUR sin, and love sinners. Don’t worry about anyone else’s sin. What if I lived that way? It’d be so much easier walking around NOT having a log sticking out of my eye. And….I could actually help my friends and neighbors get specks of sawdust out of theirs. Wow. I think I might try that.
Hate my sin. Love sinners. It’s my new motto.