So this blog kicks off my #lovethesinnerexperiment. After being rather embarrassed at the way Christians reacted to a fellow Christian openly expressing love and her genuine openness for the LBGT community, I thought I would try to magnify the vast amount of sin we all have in our lives and how just because the bible says someone’s actions are sin, does not mean we are justified to separate them out or separate them from God’s love. So for the next several days, I am going to do my best to humble all of us and shed light on God’s love for each of us…despite sin. (To see more about this experiment, read the blog titled “An Experiment: Call All Sinners…yes, that means you!" posted on April 27, 2016.)
I figured I would kick off this experiment with a sin I’m quite familiar with because I inadvertently committed this sin in my blog post on April 27, 2016; the sin is LYING. I planned on starting the blog series this past Monday and as you can see, it is Wednesday and this is our kickoff. When I planned on starting the blog, I knew I had quite a bit of work (and prayer) to do before I wrote this series and I knew I was going out of town and had a busy weekend. So despite best intentions, I didn’t actually kick this off Monday. So indeed, I am a liar.
And the Bible is pretty clear-cut on the definition of lying as a sin. The third chapter of Colossians describes in detail the new life we gain through Christ and specifically instructs us to turn from sin in our old life (life before we accept Jesus is our Savior). It specifically highlights lying in the following:
Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old evil nature and all its wicked deeds.
See it’s pretty clear, lying is of an evil nature. And the Bible spells out lying as a sin way back in the Old Testament as one of the 10 Commandments given to Moses by God.
Do not testify falsely against your neighbor. (testify falsely = lie)
Now, if you are feeling like lying isn’t a big deal, I apologize for being blunt. But lying is a sin. I don’t make the rules. It is spelled out in the bible. If you don’t believe the bible, that’s an entirely different conversation. There’s quite a bit of evidence proving its contents true.
And I’m fairly confident every single one of my readers has told a lie. Some lies are intentional and some are accidental (like my lie about starting this blog series on Monday). Some lies are deep and dark (like the book I’m reading where the author’s parents lied to her about not being adopted when she really was) and some are lighter and less damaging (like when I told my niece she couldn’t climb a tree because it was illegal). However, all lies are the same in God’s eyes. Sin.
From my perspective, lying is a rather easy sin to fall into. If there were a scale, and there is not, lying would probably fall on the opposite end of the spectrum from let’s say a sin like murder. And I think that makes it easier for Christians to be less judgmental (and dare I say less hateful) towards people that lie versus people who commit murder.
But this is the thing. There isn’t a spectrum. Sin is sin. We are all equal in God’s eyes. That’s the beauty (and mystery!) of our salvation. No matter where you are. No matter your struggle. No matter if you tell lies all the time or you’ve told just a lie or two in your life, we are all on equal playing field. And we are all invited to trust and love Jesus. Exactly how we are.
You don’t have to clean up your life to be accepted by Jesus. In fact, it is actually impossible to clean up your life in order to meet God’s standards. Jesus accepts you regardless of your sins (yes, all of your sins) and His loves transforms you. That transformation gives you the motivation, the will and the ability to try to resist sin. Will you resist sin all the time? Heck no! But each time you fail, you get to go to Jesus and be wrapped in forgiveness. He picks you up and you get to try again. And again. And again. Because you will fail again and again and again.
Now I’ve never seen anyone bat an eye at a liar walking into church. So I’m not sure why some Christians feel we should create a spectrum and turn a blind eye to some sin while openly condemning others. Don’t misunderstand me. I condemn lying. However, God has made it clear I am to love liars. Because liars are sinners. And sinners are people. And His commandment on loving each other is clear.
Mark 12: 29-31
Jesus replied, “The most important is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the only and only LORD. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other command is greater than these.”
So I'm calling all liars. You won't find me judging you. I'll leave that to God. I will do my part to accept you, fellowship with you, support you, share God's truths with you and love you. Because I am you. We are all in this sin thing together. Thankfully we can also all have Jesus.
Liars, sinners and a Savior,
Just a few reflections about everything God is teaching me in this life...a journey deeper into His purpose for my life.