Viewing Sin vs. Viewing Sinners: My Reasons For Reformation

I've grown up in the church, and, let's be honest- it can be very easy to develop a "Holier Than Thou" mentality the longer you are in a church.  Sin is preached against (rightfully so; no dispute there) in church because God hates sin (while still loving the PEOPLE who sin), but oftentimes, church members develop a perspective of hating the sin AND the person doing it, not realizing that:
1) everyone is a sinner... there's nothing you can do about. YOU ARE BORN A SINNER. How you gon' shame someone for being something that they were born as and had no control over?  
2) You CAN be freed from the bonds and binds of sin IN JESUS... meaning, what someone looks like may not be what they look like this time next year

So the result of this dangerous perspective is that the church loses its label as a place of healing because we don't allow people to come in broken, seeking healing. We judge them based on the sins they commit, and we become a deterrent to their growth and deliverance. Remember that Jesus said in Matthew 9:12, "...They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick."

For the longest time, I had the SIDE VIEW of sin and sinners. I mean, I was ready to judge you for your cuss words, drinking, sexing; all of it UNTIL I started doing it too. I fell into "extreme" sins, and fighting to rid myself of the scars left by my sinful struggles completely changed my perspective on viewing others. Sin is nothing to play with or take lightly. Even once you have stopped committing a sin, you have to be proactive in guarding against not doing it again.

I look back and am in SHEER AWE that God saw fit for me to not get pregnant out of wedlock, be a drug addict, alcohol addict, in an abusive relationship, and more, because I walked the paths that could have led to all of those things. God's grace and mercy withheld what I deserved! NOTHING I did stopped me from being any of those things; it was ONLY God. I cannot take credit for where I am, nor where I'm not.

Once I realized that, it gave me a new appreciation and humility for sin and deliverance from it. 
Viewing Sin vs. Viewing Sinners: My Reasons For Reformation
  • We are ALL sinners and have come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)
  • There are no levels to sin; that's a manmade view of sin. God sees sin all the same. Sin that's not dealt with will keep you from the holiness of God. My unwillingness to deal with my lying problem is viewed the same way as someone's unwillingness to deal with their fornication problem.
  • Sin is more than just the 10 commandments (James 4:17). I cannot monitor your sin life while trying to keep myself pure. When I factor in jealousy, envying, discontentment, not trusting God for leading, and so many other things that hinder my closeness to God, I CAN'T worry about your wrong, because I'm too focused on staying right with God.
  • Have you ever studied what the Bible says about forgiveness? There are countless scriptures on forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to cleanse from our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness". As a Christian, I can go directly to God to ask for forgiveness. When Jesus died for our sins, he died for FUTURE sins too. He knew we would sin again, but through salvation, we can go before the throne of God continuously to ask for forgiveness, and just like that, we are forgiven! If God forgives so easily after we confess our wrong, who am I to hold someone's wrongdoings against them?
  • I struggled with guilt and shame for years because of things that I'd done. I thought that whenever I walked into church, people would whisper and murmur about me and what they'd heard. It stunted my Christian growth at a time that I needed to grow. That's the work of the devil. Satan tries to get you to wallow in your sins, but when you truly understand the gift of going before God and giving it all to Him, you can't be tricked into guilt and shame. I say all of that to say, I don't want someone who has struggled with a certain sin(s) to be around me, nervous, feeling guilty and shameful, and in turn me being a hindrance for their spiritual growth. I know what that feels like. I HAVE to change my view of sin to be a better example, testimony, and support for others.
  • Who you are is based on God. If it wasn't for grace, we could have
    been caught up in the same sin that we judge others for. Some of us were. Let's not think more highly of ourselves than we should. We can take NO credit for who we are; only God can.

I love where I am right now in my Christian life. I love the fact that I've left things behind and given them to God, so that I'm not growing because they aren't stunting my growth. I love the joy and peace that comes from giving your sins to God and not being bound by them. I want that for others! I genuinely do! I want to be a testimony of a changed life; someone caught up in sin who God delivered by His grace. I can't testify when I still have the "judge-y" spirit on me. 

NOTE: Does this mean that I gloss over sin or downplay it? NO. Absolutely not. In fact, my eyes have been opened to sin because I don't have a checklist mindset of, "Ok, I followed THESE set of sins, so I'm good." I'm learning more in more to seek a life of holiness after God and have Him as my standard. When I do that, God shows me that my nasty attitude towards my co-workers the other day was sin, and my inattention during church when God was speaking to me during the message was sin... my lack of interest in purposely purchasing modest clothes, yeah that was wrong too lol. I came across James 4:17 during my devotional time a few months ago, and it has changed my standard on viewing sin.

I believe in purity and preaching against sin. Many people criticize the church for the judging mindset, but those are the people who quote "Only God can judge me" and feel like they aren't accountable for their actions and will live contrary to what God has already said is wrong in the Bible. They're wrong too cause that's a prideful way of viewing things lol. There are countless verses about living a double life and living however you want. That's wrong too. How sad to know the goodness of God, continue a worldly mindset, and then attack other brethren trying to hold you accountable?

God is our standard. We need to keep our eyes on Him and not live for man's acclaim. Let's be humble in our standing; we have a level playing field- we're all sinners. There's no justification in judging someone who sins differently than you because in the end, it's still sin. Let's stop worrying about creating hierarchies of sins, be humble in our walk, and be support systems for other sinners who are caught in sin AND DON'T KNOW CHRIST IS THE ANSWER. Let's lead them to Christ, tell them our stories, and give all glory to the kingdom of God.

Readjusting. Reevaluating. Reformed.

Dear God, WOW. This is such an area that many Christians struggle with. We are losing the fight of spreading the gospel because we are caught up in managing the sins of others, instead of showing them YOU; the only one who forgives us of our sins and washes them all away. Help us to view You as the example; You are so forgiving and so loving. Help us to be humble in remembering what you have brought us through and delivered us from, while not being afraid to testify so that others can get healing. Help us seek opportunities to testify and show others how they can have the same deliverance through you. Help us get ourselves out of the way and exude You. Free us from comparing our lives to others and push us to live lives that showcase the miracles and reformation that only You can do. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.