We are finishing up a series right now entitled “Half Truths“. We have taken a look at five Christian cliches that are partially true but littered with doctrinal fallacy. The idea of “love the sinner. hate the sin” is one of the cliches we waded through.
In Matthew’s Gospel (chapter 7), Jesus teaches us that we will be judged with the same measure we judge others. And He ends with this:
“Do not give to dogs what is holy; do not throw your pearls to pigs, lest they trample them under their feet and turn to attack you”.
We miss so much of what Jesus says because we don’t understand the culture of His day. We love dogs and animals so much in our culture that we even clothe them in dresses and sweaters. We have an entire society dedicated to saving their lives. And we miss this. The original readers would have asked, “who would put pearls on a pig”?
And we wonder “well, why not”?
God calls us to love people; saints and sinners alike. God also calls us to hate sin. But something happens when we try to marry the two. We discover we are not very good at balance. The more we focus on hating sin; the more we hate the sinner. The more we focus on loving the sinner; the more we love the sin.
Only Jesus could do it perfectly. It must be why He says that apart from Him we can do nothing. We need Jesus to help us love people while also rejecting sin in our own lives. We need Jesus to make us holy AND loving.
So Jesus tells us not to throw our pearls to pigs. People who are not yet following Jesus are not ready for His righteousness. We try so hard to get them to act in righteous ways, but they do not even know the One who is righteous.
Some people are not ready for righteousness. Most people are ready for love. We cannot lead them to Jesus via righteousness. If we do, it will eventually lead them towards legalism. We can, however, lead them to Jesu via love. And love will lead them towards righteousness.
You and I…we have been given the ministry of reconciliation. Let’s start reconciling people to God via His transforming love!