Have you ever noticed when you hear about someone’s mistake, you also get the unnecessary fringe information? It’s like the free gift that comes with a purchase. As though the initial act wasn’t bad enough, people have to add some pizazz to drive the reality a little deeper under our skin.
The terrible mistake gets dissected into separate sections and because ‘all sins are equal’ we now have a mountain of mistakes to bury the person under. The lies, the locations and the conditions are all separated into their own piles and the inevitable indication that the person is ‘a lot worse’ than you initially thought.
You can have someone whose porn addiction gets discovered and that’s bad enough, but then you think about all the times they had to lie to cover it up. Now they’re a porn addict and a liar. Then you have to think about who was in the next room when they were looking at porn. Now they’re a porn addict, a liar and a horrible parent. Then the ‘what if’s’ start pouring in and you get furious about things that may or may not have or could have happened and throw them on the pile.
Eventually they’re so buried by the insurmountable wrong that recovery and restoration seem impossible. I mean, even if they break their porn addiction, they’re still a liar and a terrible parent with obvious potential for more crimes, right?
One way or another, we make sure our fallen can never get back up.
We’re really good at recognizing sin and offering support to the collaterally damaged. However, we need to work on our efficiency in the other half of the equation. God is more than a refuge to the victims. He’s also the Healer for the sin-sick. More often than not, the ‘victim’ in the situation can only be fully cleansed if all the weight is shifted to the other party. We sacrifice one to save another.
The nectar of the Gospel is the overwhelming message that nobody has to be lost. Nobody has to be sacrificed in order set the world right again. The weight fell on God’s Son. The sacrifice has already been made. The world has been set right. It’s all past tense.
This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. -John 3:16-18
The next time you’re are faced with choosing sides in a situation, consider that choosing sides causes division and divisions are caused by a view that is void of Jesus.
…watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught… –Romans 16:17 ESV
Jesus says that His way is ‘easy’ and it creates unity.
…my yoke is easy… –Jesus, Matthew 11:30 ESV
…that they may be one even as we are one. -Jesus in His prayer in John 17:22 ESV
All of the aspects of what Jesus taught about life and how to live it make this possible.
- love others as you love yourself (Matthew 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27)
- turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39; Luke 6:29)
- love your enemies (Matthew 5:44)
Other tools from scripture:
- carry each other’s weight (Galatians 6:1-2)
- confess your sins to each other (James 5:16)
- fight to stay together (Ephesians 4:4-6)
You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness. -Ephesians 4:4-6
“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” -Arthur Ashe