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What Does “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin” Mean?

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Words have power. Words can either build you up or tear you down. Proverbs 18:21 “Words kill, words give life. Poison or fruit is up to you.” Words are weapons of grace and mercy, breathing life into tired souls. And there are words spun from malevolent tongues that can deprive our lungs of oxygen.

Inspirational words can change a situation for the better – legendary speeches are timeless. There are sentences. Healthy aspirations and inspiring quotes are written on sticky notes. And there is a sacred space for words entrusted to memory. They blend in as usual. These words play lyrical prose in soothing notes and dramatic keys that are firmly stored in your temporal lobes. It is attached to the moment you set sail for it, mend your heart, or tear it apart.

Origin of “Love sinners and hate sins”

I have heard this exact phrase many times in my life. Some call it a cliché or a quote. I call it a legend because “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin” has stood the test of time. catholic answer, these words are first attributed to St. Augustine. “His letter 211 (c. 424) contains the phrase: Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum, which roughly translates to “with love for humanity and hatred for sin.” ”The article then said: The latter form appears in Mohandas Gandhi’s 1929 autobiography.”

The phrase “love sinners and hate sin” does not appear word for word in the Bible, but the concept and command to love sinners and despise sin does appear throughout the New Testament. Jude 1:22-23 “Have mercy on those who doubt, save others by plundering them from fire, show others mercy mingled with fear, and hate even clothes defiled with putrid flesh.” It is to love human beings who are human beings, and to hate the filthy flesh, which desires actions and things that destroy their relationship with God. And this is a difficult task to succeed.

Through the living pages of the Bible, Jesus shows how this is done. He teaches us how to eat with sinners, how to give kindness to the outcast and outcast, and how to forgive the unforgiven. “Father, please forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.”Luke 23:34). Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice in that tree showed that flawed sinners deserved His compassion and love. God gave us life so that we could be freed from the filth of our flesh and have eternal life with Him.

test of faith

“He’s a very flawed man, but he still deserves your compassion.” The past few months have been a series of trials. My faith has been tested many times. And when coming to terms with new revelations in the lives of loved ones, I’ve stuck to that final letter of wisdom.

Certain sins can change everything you know and think about a person. I recently heard the phrase, “Love sinners, hate sins.” Like I said, I’ve heard this statement before. However, this time, it was used in the context of encouraging oneself while knowing about the sinful acts of those close to him. My vision was blurry, my ears were ringing, and I was out of breath. Yet every syllable was heard loud and clear, as if commanded from a loudspeaker. My heart and mind beckoned to the will of time to rewind a few minutes and let me continue in the blissful simplicity. That’s better. But instead, I had to learn to separate sin from my soul. I had to learn to love and hate at the same time.

I want to report that I am handling this situation and trying like a champ, but I regret that it has been so hard for me to walk this line of love and hate. , I fought the ship-wrecking winds, shattering my heart into millions of grain-sized pieces. Every time he draws the word “I love you” on a combination of rough yet soft minerals and rocks, the waves erase that feeling. While staring at the pure white canvas in front of me again, my fleeting heart sways to the rhythm of the sea. How easy is it to show compassion to your victims? to the oppressed? But the challenge lies in extending this empathy to the oppressors.

For years, I have faithfully and consistently written in my prayer journal as God taught me to love unconditionally, or, as I sometimes like to say, “love them anyway.” I always thought I was good at loving. Loving is easy, I decided. And I’ve been praying for this moment to love unconditionally. Rise to the occasion by channeling my inner “Mother Teresa” to throw all reasoning and caution to the wind. Or I thought it was to love the old classmates who gossiped about me.

But that is not God’s normal work. And I know from experience that if I write something or want God to teach me something, I have to roll up my sleeves willingly and dig deep. It seems to guide me experientially with hands-on training, or in this case heart-on training. I am tasked with writing the second. Engraved in memory, engraved in heart, and lived through action, learn to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). And I’m adding the word “unconditional” here. To love unconditionally means to love someone regardless of their guilt.

What does it really mean to love sinners and hate sins?

It does not mean to condone sin or turn a blind eye. It means going against the grain and all natural impulses that bind a person to sin. After all, sin without repentance and salvation leads to death. If I love someone, even an enemy, I want eternal life for him. “And when desire is conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin ripens, it gives birth to death.”Jacob 1:15). That certainly doesn’t mean dropping your limits or allowing sinners into your life when they are your oppressors. There is a place for this, and our actions of love have the power to heal.

Hating sin also means that we must humbly face the fact that we are all sinners and examine our fleshly nature. Otherwise, you have to label yourself as a hypocrite. “Why do you see the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and do not pay attention to the plates of your own eye? Can you do it? Got a board in your eye? You hypocrite, first remove the board from your eye.Matthew 7:3-5).

It means choosing to love, or “love anyway”, as I like it. And how do you do that? My friends, it takes prayer, faith and courage. It takes small steps to harden our hearts and release the stones that make us fully trust God with the commands He asks of us. We must be prepared to undergo trials and refinements in order to learn how to become like Christ. We must walk freely and willingly to follow the path He has set for us.

For me and this path that God has let me stumble, I choose to act of love and compassion until my heart and mind have time to catch up. I choose love even if it hurts. I hate sin and love sinners.

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/ Blasius Erlinger

Darcy Fukua headshotDarcy Fuqua Business analyst, Auburn Grad (War Eagle!), Christian blogger, podcast host, and mental health advocate. She hails from the southernmost tip of Alabama and now lives with her husband, her two energetic and fun-loving boys, and a dog named Charlie.She loves sinking her toes in the sand, cuddling with her sons, and having great conversations over the table of delicious food.You can read more of her writing on her website. www.leightonlane.com and connect with her Facebook and InstagramCheck out Darcie’s latest project as co-host treatment at 10.

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