‘Let us stop passing judgment on one another.’ Romans 14:13 NIV
You can work alongside and pray for someone who’s having an extramarital affair, without having one yourself. Remember, you were a sinner before you were saved by the grace of God, so act with humility and don’t fall into the trap of self-righteousness. As Merv Rosell says, ‘When God forgives, He consigns the offence to everlasting forgetfulness,’ so show grace when you encounter somebody whose lifestyle makes you uncomfortable. Learn as much as possible about them, and allow your interactions to dispel any preconceptions and prejudices. See them as hurting individuals loved by God—people who need the same grace you received.
When you love the unlovely, you’re just doing what God did for you. Just because somebody’s ‘different’, doesn’t mean you should dismiss them or consider them inferior. You don’t want to be judged or demeaned because of your colour, culture or countenance, so don’t do it to others! Because the Bible is clear about not emulating others in their sinful practices, we can be tempted to think we’re better than they are. That’s the sin of pride!
Sometimes we think if we love and accept certain people, we’re condoning their sin. No, the truth lies in remaining respectful, and accepting others the way Jesus did. Whether it was racial differences (Samaritans), lifestyle differences (the five-times-divorced woman at the well), or class differences (Nicodemus), Jesus loved and accepted people as they were, while inspiring them to a higher standard.
SoulFood: 2 Chr 29–31, Mark 9:1–13, Ps 119:145–160, Prov 22:14–16
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2016