Colossians 2: 13When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.…
James 3:9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.
James 4:12There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
“Who are you to determine who I decide to invite to my table?”
It is always strange to think, the prodigal son just as easily can become the older judgmental brother. But, that is exactly what I became as I struggled with my ex wanting a larger role in Jonathan’s life than he had previously attempted to have in 7 years. He wasn’t asking, he was demanding it. And the quote above are the exact words God spoke to me while I paced in the back of the church during a sermon on the Prodigal Son Parable.
“But, he is not even repentant!” Was my argument with God. There are so many people in this fallen world that it may be easy for us to pass judgment upon. Forgetting how much God has forgiven us. My response may be like yours to the horrid actions of Josh Duggar, Bill Cosby, and Jared Fogle. They are not even repentant Lord! When I hear the harm has been done to children, and for the record, I have been that child, well I–I want to cast the largest stone. That God died on a cross for these men, and for those who hurt me, is hard to comprehend. But he did!
In taking a look at almost all of the scriptural situations where Jesus gave forgiveness for sins, it wasn’t after repentance, it was before.
The adulteress woman–caught in the midst of her affair and no indication that she asked for forgiveness
The paralyzed man brought to Jesus to be healed–not looking to be forgiven, he was looking to be healed
The disciples–all would fall away as Jesus was being arrested, yet he chose them!
I think that our world has a very messed up, hypocritical and condemning perspective on sin, particularly sexual sins when it does harm to others, especially children. But, we hold those very same sins up as freedom of expression and dare I say rights when we think that it affects no one but ourselves. It is my body is our mantra! My thinking changed drastically when a second heartbeat began beating under mine. I knew that my drinking could do harm to him, so I stopped. Instantly I became aware that my actions were transferred to a baby who had done nothing to deserve the consequences of my sin. What was happening inside me was a microcosm of Christ’s actions for the entire world. But here is the kicker, Jesus pursued me before I hit rock bottom and finally cried out to him, not after.
While you and I didn’t even realize we needed him, Christ died for us. It isn’t based on our deserving it, it isn’t even based upon any of us ever getting grace figured out. He who knew no sin, became a sin offering because Josh Fogle, Bill Cosby , Josh Duggar, Karisa Moore, _____________, are loved by their creator.
What these men have done is clearly wrong, and they will be judged rightly by God. We too can clearly call sin, sin in order to restore those around us to a right relationship with God, but what we cannot do is cast the first stone. Only the one who knew no sin can condemn rightly. So where does that leave us?
- Remove our own logs (sin) (Matthew 7)
- Pray that God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10)
- Forgive as the Lord has forgiven us (Colossians 3:13)
- Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger (James1)
The bottom line is this: “Our lips must be governed by the law of kindness, as well as truth and justice.”–Matthew Henry