Over the past few years, as I’ve tried through my daily devotional practice and process to let God’s Word and God’s Spirit address my attitudes, my values, and my actions more directly, I’ve learned a few things about myself! I’ve become very adept at interpreting scripture in the context of my own Christian cultural setting. And I’m very good at selectively applying scripture to others and myself. In the places that New Testament scriptures are specific in naming and condemning sins, I find it easy to agree and apply if it’s a sin I’m not currently guilty of and easy to actually overlook if it’s something I’m doing!
The current Evangelical Condemnation Bandwagon in the US is rolling along to the tune of “Homosexuality is an Abomination!” A generation ago it was Rock n’ Roll and divorce, but we’ve assimilated those and moved on! And we are very selective as we look at Paul’s list here which includes greed (idolatry), swindlers, abusers, and drunkards. Paul’s list in Galatians 5 includes hostility, quarrelling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions. And even my list from Paul’s list is selective!
My point is this: We are inclined to use a sliding scale in determining whose sins are worse and who is in and who is out! And we tend to focus our condemnation on the people whose sins are not the ones we struggle with!
Let’s learn to be even-handed in choosing the sins we condemn! And, like our Father, let’s be redemptive rather than punitive in our attitudes and actions.
Father, May we learn to judge ourselves first with grace and truth, and then, if we have any energy left over to judge others, may we judge with mercy and compassion. Amen!
Don’t Fool Yourselves
Reading: 1 Corinthians 6; Psalm 128
9 Don’t you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, 10 thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers—none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God. 11 There was a time when some of you were just like that, but now your sins have been washed away, and you have been set apart for God. You have been made right with God because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NLT)
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