This really shouldn’t be the issue. Our first thought should not be what people at church will think of us, or what they might say. It’s unfortunate, but I think churches have gotten to this point. They need to check themselves, and put their hearts in the right place.
God sent His son Jesus to walk among us. That’s so we could see His image. He told us, “This is the image that you should show people. Love one another as I have loved you.”
This is not an angry image. It’s not a judgmental image. It’s not a condemning image. When Jesus walked the streets, He loved. He loved everybody! He hung out with prostitutes, drunks, gluttons, and sinners. He was called a drunk and a glutton because those were the people He hung out with. And when they brought prostitutes before Him and said, “What do we do?” He said, “Hey, that’s not your job. Your job is not to condemn anybody. Your job is to love and encourage people to get better, right where they are.”
That’s the image of God. That’s the image we’re supposed to reflect. It’s not anyone’s job to condemn our young people. Your job is not to say, “Hey look, you got drunk, you deserve everything that happens to you.” No, no. That’s not your job.
Your job is to talk with them, in a relationship of trust. Go to them and say, “Let’s get down to the actual root of why. Why did you get drunk and then drive? Why did you sleep with your boyfriend and get pregnant? What was the purpose of doing it?”
At the same time we need to love and encourage them. We need to help them solve problems as they arise. We need to ask, “What are we going to do next? How are we going to handle life now?”
We need to be with our kids. We need to offer our love. We need to say, “Let’s work through this together.”
The issue for the church is not reputation. The church is not here to be worried about keeping up appearances. We only have to do one thing. We have to say, “Okay, you know what? Your daughter is pregnant. Well, we love your daughter. We want to bless your daughter. We don’t want to cast judgment onto her. We want to cast blessing onto her! And we hope that her child becomes a child that oozes the aroma of Christ. Sure it was a mistake to get pregnant, but Jesus forgives. So of course we forgive. We’re going to help.”
Do you know how much better life would be if we actually got into the habit of saying, “You know what? Everyone sins, but we are not going to condemn anyone. We are going to love each other through it.”
I think you would find less and less people sinning out of rebellion, if they knew they were loved out of purity.
I think that would change a lot of things.
See you Saturday.