Recently, I watched a video that was talking about the topics of Christianity and homosexuality and, knowing what was said was very controversial, I decided to read the comments.
People had a lot to say.
But the one thing that stood out to me the most was the people who were claiming what the video was saying was wrong because we’re supposed to love everyone just the way they are. Now, I do believe that is true. We are supposed to love everyone. In John 13:34 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
But that command does not mean to condone sin and turn a blind eye to what we know is wrong in the eyes of the Lord. It says to love like Jesus loves. And the way Jesus loves us is radical—it changes our hearts and doesn’t leave us in our sin but calls us higher—to be more Christ-like—free from the sin that once entangled us. Jesus’ love doesn’t leave us where we are.
To love someone is to want the absolute best for them. Therefore, I don’t think we can truly love someone and condone sin at the same time. If we love them we must call them to be better because we care about them so much we want nothing but the best for them. And the best is Jesus.
Read what is said in James 5:19-20: “My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” When we speak the truth in someone’s life and help them find their way back to Jesus we save them from death. That sounds like love to me.
But how do we do this? How do we tell someone the truth in love? How do we love someone but not agree with or condone their actions? How do we share the truth of the Word and of Jesus? I believe it takes time. I don’t think we should just walk around pointing out everyone’s wrong doing and saying it’s ok because we “love” them. That doesn’t sound very Christ-like. In fact, it’s not our place to judge, and that sounds very judge-y to me. So what then?
First comes the love, then comes the trust, then comes the truth, then comes the love again.
Love people first and foremost, sincerely, without judgement and without alternative motives. Build trust with that person, learn from them, be trustworthy. And speak truth to that person in the love you’ve grown with them.
Galatians 6:1a says, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently…” The keyword here is gently, not forcefully.
Now this isn’t a oneway street. We have to be willing to listen and allow other people to speak truth into our lives as well. We all have planks in our eyes—areas where we need to grow, places we can do better, chains of sin that need broken, brokenness in our hearts that needs healing.
All this to say: we can obey the command of God to love everyone without condoning sin. And this is extremely important in a culture where we use the command to love as a reason not to speak and lead others toward truth. If you truly love someone you will want the best for them, and the best is Jesus.
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