Love the sinner, hate the sin. It’s a mantra that’s been heard over and throughout our dealings with sin. The Bible does say to love one another. However, most people use it as an excuse to avoid difficult conversations with people.
No longer is the ideal of loving the sinner and hating the sin what it’s supposed to be, now it has turned into “love the sinner and secretly hate the sin.” Many of us (myself included,) have gotten to the point where we are too afraid of offending people by mentioning something that could imply they made a mistake.
The problem with this? That makes us a fake and selfish friend. Not only are we smiling and saying everything is fine, when it’s really not, but we are also avoiding a topic that could be messy because we don’t want to deal with it. That makes us selfish as well as fake.
True friendship and true love isn’t allowing people to harm themselves by continuing their actions. True love is expressing our concern for our friends. True love is telling your friends that they’re wrong, even if you don’t want to.
Not telling your friends that they’re doing something wrong can be extremely harmful to them. Many times people don’t like to think about the dire effects that sin can have on their life. However, Romans 6:23 is very adamant in the fact that the outcome to sin is death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NIV)
Does this mean we should call people out on their mistakes ruthlessly or shame them for their sins? No. That’s not what love is. Love is making sure they know we care about them, but also that they should take a different path in life. Grace is an important part of loving a person, and so when speaking to a friend about a sin in their life, it should come out of love, never judgement. God is the only one who can pass judgement on people, but loving our friends also means keeping them accountable for their sins, not just ignoring their actions.
So do you know what love the sinner, hate the sin really means?