Next time you’re around opportunities to be involved with sex, drugs, alcohol, or the like—don’t say no, don’t turn away, don’t ignore it—say yes to them and everything that comes with it.
Wait, what did he just say?! I could also throw in physical harm, unhealthy dieting, lying, cheating, stealing, cursing, and more. So what’s the catch you may be asking? Notice I did not directly say to actually do these things, instead I am urging you, the body of Christ, and the church establishment to be involved with matters such as these.
Too often we as “Christians” are criticized for our lack of love and rejection to the “sinners” of the world that are active in many of the activities I have listed above; I’m not saying that falls on every Christian, but for many churches and some believers, it is the truth.
But there are two problems with this:
- the Christian body is made up entirely of sinners who have or still do struggle with things like sex, drugs, and alcohol, and
- the “sinners” were Jesus’ best friends and the crowd he hung out with.
Ever notice how easily and quickly we form judgments about people? “I’m not talking to her—she’s ugly and sleeps around” or “Would you look at that, more drunk Facebook pictures posted by that total d-bag.” We label people with the outside problems that we perceive in their lives, but often that judgment keeps us from ever befriending them, ministering to them, or loving them; in fact, it is these judgments and labels that often keep them out of church and encourage their choices.
And that’s the ugliness about it; we are not helping their cause! We aren’t saying yes to the people who struggle with sexual, drug, alcohol, physical harm, unhealthy dieting, lying, cheating, stealing, cursing, and whatever else temptations!
We are also forgetting about the plank in our own eye, something Jesus warned us about in Matthew 7:3–5. There is something that I notice about how people choose to act in different situations throughout life, and I do it myself, too. For every outward action I do, I am operating from an inner reaction from a previous situation.
For instance, I am really happy one day and everyone notices I am smiling and bubbly—this is happening because a previous situation of getting a raise at work and a compliment on my new shoes, thus my output is happiness. This also goes for the negative side of things. Possible example, I spend my weekends getting drunk and sleeping around, this could be happening because my dad died in a car accident when I was 10 and my mom has had random guys sleeping with her since then, thus I fill my void with the actions of drinking and sleeping around.
Looking at these examples, we can see how a quick judgment and label applied to a “sinner” would not be helpful or understanding when something much deeper could be going on behind the scenes. Even if their actions are not correct, they may not understand the wrong or there may be a deeper, harder situation they are trying to internally repair or avoid.
It is this point that I want to illuminate for everyone, Christians and non-Christians, we are too quick to say “no” to people dealing with brokenness because of an extreme cultural pride that distances us from “risky” relationships.
Be a believer full of love that gets down and dirty with the sinners like Jesus, who fellowshipped with lepers, thieves, prostitutes, alcoholics, and the like. Step outside the labels and judgments and challenge yourself to develop a relationship with someone who is “risky.” Not for a project, not to fix them, but to simply love like Jesus loves.
“Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.”