When someone’s sin is revealed, people can end up denying everything they know about Jesus with their response. People will often act like there is no God, no mercy, and no hope for the bad guy. They are dehumanized in such a way that they can become a meal for war-blood gluttons. People can rationalize themselves into being spiritual tyrants. They behave as though God is weighed down in royal robes and flanked by fan waving, flute playing angel-fairies completely oblivious to the current circumstances of the wayward people He created. In a world that feels like the concept of God is outdated and theoretical, it doesn’t help when His “special” followers dress up like Roman Soldier relics and hang the sinners upside down.
Much of the ammunition used against the sinners is gathered in those first few days. They’re accused of not being sorry enough. Having no remorse is a bigger sin than the sin itself. Most people will give the sinner about a split ambiguous second to explain himself, then he is abandoned intently and intensely. It’s as though the biggest statement for setting yourselves apart as Bible believing, God fearing Christians is located on a cold shoulder and dripping from a sharp tongue.
When someone is forced to face the reality of their own sin, it’s not unlike finding out that the person closest to them has died. Denial comes first. Not denial like “I didn’t do it” (though they could actually say those words, like the blindsided can say “They’re not dead”, even though they are.) The same way the brain can live separated from the body for about 8 minutes, the conscious awareness of a person can deny their own “death to innocence” for a few days. A head separated from the body can, theoretically, look over at the headless body and still, initially, try to survive. Reality, what we know to be true, what hits our awareness with our acceptance, is only an echo of something no amount of denial can change.
God have mercy on the sinner who has the audacity to cry. They are disrobed of every human quality and spiritually beaten like dogs by people who intend to use the sinner’s failure as a saint’s statement of faith.
‘I am Jesus, the One you’re hunting down like an animal. But now, up on your feet—I have a job for you. I’ve handpicked you to be a servant and witness to what’s happened today, and to what I am going to show you. I’m sending you off to open the eyes of the outsiders so they can see the difference between dark and light, and choose light, see the difference between Satan and God, and choose God. I’m sending you off to present my offer of sins forgiven, and a place in the family, inviting them into the company of those who begin real living by believing in me.’ -Acts 26:16-18 MSG
It’s true that the way you handle another’s sin is a statement of faith. Maybe it’s time for them to consider their own faith before moving forward with the emotion-engorged reaction. You can either rub their noses in their mistakes, or open their eyes to the gift of Jesus. There is a difference between those who strive and those who have received.
Those who try to maintain their own version of salvation are brutal to those who mess up. The same way the greedy will crush the weak, the spiritually greedy will use the failures of others to diminish the appearance of their own.
Those who have received the gift of salvation want others to have it, too. They knew that they did not pay for their salvation with their decision. They received because their eyes were opened to the truth. The frustration of the farm hands is exasperated when they lead someone to the well and find it to be flanked by self-important tyrants who ration it out to the so-called worthy. They say you must clean up before you can draw from the well. But, the water is the only thing that can cleanse them. It’s meant to be consumed from within, not without.
You don’t sip living water in fancy glasses held in clean hands. You jump in and open your mouth.
“If I don’t wash you, you can’t be part of what I’m doing.”
“Master! … Not only my feet, then. Wash my hands! Wash my head!”-John 13:8-9 MSG