How many times have I heard the phrase "Love the sinner, hate the sin"? It sounds so biblical, holy, righteous, Christian and rolls off the tongue easily.
Did you know that the saying, "Love the sinner, hate the sin" has absolutely nothing to do with our faith? It is not to be found anywhere in the Bible. It was said by Mahatma Gandhi on one of his not so good days and it has been used to beat people up. It has been used to do violence to people ever since. Something Gandhi would never ever have wished.
What is sin exactly? Is it stealing the stationery supplies from work? Is it getting so drunk you throw up? Is it not going to church on Sundays? Is it swearing? Is it looking at a man or woman with lust?
How could Jesus be clearer on our purpose? Our goal is to forgive, not once but "seventy times seven," (Matthew 18:22) if necessary.
Can we do that? In my experience it can be easy to forgive and love someone who is your friend or who does things the same way as you do but its much harder to forgive or love some one who behaves different to you.
In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you." Matthew 5: 43-48 TM
We are called to live generously and graciously towards other, because that is how God lives towards us. I don't know if we can live that way without the daily help of our loving Father and the power of the Holy Spirit living in us.
If we hold onto the 'Love the sinner and hate the sin' philosophy, we haven't truly heard Jesus' call to love your enemies and His call to forgive.
And another Gandhi quote comes to mind right now.."The weak can never forgive because forgiveness is the attribute of the strong".
May the strength of the Lord be with us. And may we all walk in love and forgiveness. Amen