I hate sin.
I especially hate sin when it is embraced by people I love. My heart grieves and my anger rages when those I love choose to remain there. Some have cuddled sin, fed it, and treated it as a beloved family pet rather than expose, refuse and hate it as the diseased, intruding rodent it is.
We all know those people. Those in the pit who didn't just fall into a pit; they also made the pit themselves. They have shoveled, choice by choice, creating their own pit. In moments, they love their pit and have made it their home ... knitting blankets, setting up nightstands with little pit lamps, "P" decorative pillows, and even making "Pit" commemorative pins.
It is not right. It is wrong. These are bad, destructive choices they are making. This pit can ruin them.
1. Identify the true danger. However, the greatest danger is not in the sick becoming sicker, or the sinner sliding farther, if you will. The most danger is when we, who are THE help, the "doctors," the ones who carry the cure, harden our hearts to those within the pit.
Where we falter as the body of Christ is when our thoughts are concentrating on the steps they have taken to climb into the pit instead thinking of steps on how to help them out. The danger is no longer for the people in the pit, but the danger is for us, and our hearts.
For if we are offering no hope served with a side of condemnation, have we not just committed as much sin as they? Have we not negated the power of the blood of Jesus and the hope He so readily offers for freedom? Have we not been quick to forget the filthy, dung filled pit in which the great Rescuer, without hesitancy, brought us out?
The most danger is us falling out of a "keeping no record of wrong, always hopes, always believes the best" (1 Cor. 13) type of love. For if our hearts have grown cold and compassionless, now we are all in the pit. (Gal 6:1)
2. Follow Jesus' example. I am constantly moved by the compassion that Jesus felt and acted on. The woman caught in the act of adultery had made her home in her pit. Those around her were ready to give her what she had earned. She chose the action, now she would need to face the consequences.
Jesus instead turns the crowds gaze from ridicule to reflection. He says, "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone." Instead of applauding their accurate interpretation of the Scripture, He directs their judgment to themselves. Jesus didn't advocate or ignore her behavior. However, he protected her from the accusations, and filled her with hope of a better tomorrow. "Neither do I condemn you, now ... go and sin no more."
3. Make it relevant to today. I have to ask myself and you ... my friends, is this how we are treating the sinning world today? Are we offering a protection from accusers? Are we pointing to the Jesus that can get them out of this pit? Are we focusing on inwardly aligning our own heart condition rather than fixing others'? Are we showing that in their destitute situation, we will help protect them from their accusers, and also give them hope for their tomorrow?
The closer I can align my behaviors to Jesus, the better—even when it doesn't make sense. PLEASE, let's quit making the world our enemy and let us make them our mission. I have a feeling they will hear us say His name better if we will reach down to help them out of the pit as opposed to tweeting or facebooking exactly why their pit is sending them to hell. Let's drop our stones, look inwardly, and reach outwardly, before we too, find ourselves in a pit.
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Jamie Jones travels all over and enjoys speaking to all types of groups. She has a straightforward, humorous approach to teaching that captivates both young and old, male and female. Jamie's creative approach to pulpit ministry is most beneficial in church services, Ladies' meetings, leadership training as well as youth events. Church size, event size or even offering size are irrelevant to her accepting engagements. Her top priority is to do as Paul did and go where it "seems right."
If you are interested in having Jamie at your next service or event, please email: [email protected]
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