LOVE

th-25When you love someone you embrace the whole person.

I don’t think we’re done with this “love the sinner; hate the sin” thing. Friday we got it down to “Love the sinner,” but now I‘m realizing that’s not far enough.

By removing “hate the sin,” I’m not suggesting we love someone’s sin, I’m saying that we can’t let sin get in the way of love. Nothing can get in the way of love. If you love somebody, you love them, not part of them.

If you believe that homosexuality is a sin, then how do you love a homosexual and hate their sin? How do you do that? You love the part of them that isn’t gay? It’s what my wife calls a push-pull relationship. You want to love someone but you are hating their sin so you keep pulling them in, and pushing them away. No wonder that person feels rejected.

All I’m saying is that love embraces the whole person. That means I accept them along with their sin just as I have been accepted by God along with my sin. Loving the whole person is an acknowledgment that sin has been dealt with on the cross.

I believe this is what it means that love covers over a multitude of sins. It’s like a tsunami that envelopes everything in its path. As one of my favorite hymns states it: “O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast unmeasured, boundless, free, rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me.”

Your sin is no longer a barrier to God so neither is anyone else’s. God’s love on the cross has enveloped my sin — it has made it a non-issue. It’s done the same thing for everybody. Like another hymn says: “Love that is greater than all my sin.” That means the love God gives me for others is the same. It’s greater than all their sin, too.

“But John,” I know some of you are thinking, “How do I love the sinner without condoning their sin?” All I can say about that is: I’m glad God doesn’t have that problem.

Yesterday I got it down to “Love the sinner.” I don’t believe I took it down far enough. We’re still not quite there yet.

I love what Steve sent us. In his comment, he sent a link to a T-shirt with the following inscription. The first line was “Love the sinner; hate the sin,” and “hate the sin” was crossed out. The second line was “Love the sinner,” and this time “the sinner” was crossed out. The last line was simply “Love.” I think that’s it. That’s all we need. There are no conditions on it. That’s the whole thing right there …

Love.

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10 Responses to LOVE

  1. Peter Leenheer says:

    Now I know why I felt push and pulled in relationships. It is so simple once I got it. Thank you! Your Catches have been and are very insightful, helpful, and brilliant in their simplicity. Thank you for being so in touch with God. He obviously has given you something fresh and vibrant every time you sit down to write a Catch. I love being the benefactor of your relationship with God as well. You send out the kind of love you write about because sometimes it is like you are standing in front of me speaking the words I see on the daily devotional. Amazing!!! Yes love does not keep a list of wrongs!

  2. Mark Seguin says:

    Wuv how you think & write Pastor John!

    God’s speed & blessing to you and the Fisher family… 🙂

  3. steve says:

    John, keep on keeping on. You’ve been challenging us with some great stuff!

  4. TimC says:

    Good stuff. But your example is kind of bland, it seems to me. Let me spice it up a bit. What are you going to do, when that person whom you are supposed to love instead of being gay is a “registered sex offender”? It seems like all of society heaps tons of hate on them – right?

    However, things are not always as they seem at first look.

    Then I found out that this particular person is actually innocent – the “justice” system messed up and believed people who were lying, so now this poor guy has to live with an unjust label.

    He needs to be loved but the law has restrictions on what he can do and where he can go. I’m not sure how to handle this situation. He is a friend of my daughter. His girlfriend babysits my grandson. He’s been over to my apartment.

    Please pray that the stupid legal problem can get fixed so that this young man can have a life. How’s that for a “miracle” request?

  5. Lois Taylor says:

    We are all sinners. There are no big or small sins. We are to love each other no matter what. That doesn’t mean that we love sin. It means we love people who are sinners.

  6. mrsannie says:

    Thank you. I am tired and weary of carrying this burden. A family member who is dear to me is gay. I’ve waited for the harsh, condemning words from my “brothers and sisters” in Christ. I realize that it’s God who carried this burden, it’s God who loves this child more than me and it’s God who will sort out the details. Not me. Not my church. Not my “friends”.

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