Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.
I recently read a great article which reminded me how we are called to identify sin where we see it but not to sit in judgement of the person who committed it. This may seem such a simple statement. For me, it is hugely impactful.
Blame culture is all around us. And with blame, more often than not, comes judgement. It’s hard to separate the two. When a mistake occurs in the workplace, the first question is often “Who did this?”. Beneath it is a hidden message: Quickly, let’s assign blame so that I can absolve myself of guilt. Then follows the head-shaking or the “What were you thinking?” or the “This is the 3rd/4th/5th time I’ve had to sort out your mess!”. Or some other variant.
Do we do this in our churches? Do we lightly say with our mouths, “I notice you were late for service today” but in our hearts say, “I’m never late. And if you loved and respected God like I do, you wouldn’t be late either.”
Inwardly judging someone is no different to outwardly condemning. God hears both in equal volume. (Click to tweet)
To point out a brother’s or sister’s sin and to do so without judging or condemning them requires skill, sensitivity and a lot of humility. How tempting it is for me to point out someone’s shortfall with secret glee or relief, to use it as an opportunity to make myself look holy and distract myself from my own failings.
Authenticity is the matching of inward belief with outward appearance. To live in the Spirit, I must strive to be genuinely non-judgemental, both inside and out.
When I find my brothers and sisters caught up in sin, may I be gentle and restorative in how I approach them. May we meet each other in humility and vulnerability.
Have a wonderful Sunday everyone!