See beyond sin to express acceptance, love, & compassion
The approach that Jesus takes towards people involved in sin is what continually has stolen my heart since I was a 19-year-old college student. The way Jesus often deals with sin is that he doesn’t focus on it. It seems counterintuitive and maybe a little like he is winking or turning his head at sin. I firmly believe that the main reason any of us continually sin in an area is not because we are so evil and hardhearted, but more because our sin has met a need in our wounded souls that we can’t imagine living without. Sex was designed by God to touch us deeply and unite us together, so it makes sense to me that we would use it to meet core relational needs.
I often say that when I first felt the Holy Spirit one Sunday morning that I never felt like God was ignoring my sin, it felt like he looked beyond it. It was as if my Father said, “I know what your rebellion against me is about and I get it.” And then he proceeded to meet my core need to know and be known, softening my fear of being alone and insecure, and showing me that He is the fulfillment of the very thing I’ve been looking for. Sin is often the manifestation of our unbelief that God is the better Source.
Jesus had eyes to see people as they were created to be, rather than the sin they manifest. It’s EASY and takes no discernment, love, or character to call out sin in other people. But it takes the Spirit of God moving in a person to see past sin and see the deeper need. It also takes a mature person to see that need and then ask God how they can be part of meeting that need.
We often pray to see people as Jesus sees them and I believe that this is a big part of how this becomes a reality. Embodying the merciful character of God looks like seeing beyond someone’s sin knowing that people do things for reasons, sometimes even unknowingly and that if they ever saw how much better God is at meeting that need, they would quickly say “yes” to His invitation. Being able to give this type of mercy seems to me to be much easier when I have enough self-awareness to see the many subtle ways that I myself have chosen earthly fulfillment over divine purpose & destiny. And when I get in touch with how much mercy God has shown me in so many areas, my heart gets transformed so that I love the mercy that I have received and also love the mercy I get to display as a reflection and reaction to it.
This blog is one in a series of 30+ tips for relational effectiveness with LGBT people. Find the condensed list HERE. These relational tips are from a handout acquired from “Lead Them Home”, a Boston based ministry that equips the church on LGBT issues. These blogs have been expounded upon with permission.
These tips, along with numerous other insights, are found in an excellent resource called “Guiding Families” available HERE.