Thursday, May 23, 2013
Snake Warrior Island, Miramar, Florida, May 2013
For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus
As much as it is our nature to want to look upon others and see in them the full measure of sinfulness that would set them apart and in greater condemnation by God, the truth is that sin is sin and we stand under equal judgment. We are sinners, too, plain and simple and there is nothing that we can do ourselves to change that. But God, in God's mercy, did an amazing thing in the sending of Jesus. In and through Jesus, the power of sin and its consequence of death have been broken for us, freeing us to live not in condemnation, but to love God, especially to love God by loving others. When we want to start pointing out the sin in others, rather than loving them first and deeply so that our conversation is one born out of a relationship of trust, we need to stop and pause. Given the near human impossibility of loving a person and hating their sin, we need to practice humility, a trait embodied in its fullness in Jesus by so lacking in each of us and seek God's forgiveness in our own failing to follow Jesus' command:
"Love one another as I have loved you."
As sinners ourselves we will ever live in the tension of our preference to point out the sin in others, rather than dealing with our own sin; of when to speak and when to be silent; of when to act, of when the greater need of God's justice on behalf of the most vulnerable must move us. The more we act within a relationship of trust bound into mutual love, the less likely we will mis-measure the weight of one another's sin.
Gracious God, stir us to build strong relationships of trust born out of love anchored in the love you have for us so that should we act in the correction of another you are truly glorified, in Jesus' Name, amen.