Let’s be honest. I really like to do what I want, when I want, the way I want. I don’t like to be told no. And I certainly don’t like someone to call my choices sinful. So I’ve developed these three irresistible reasons to help me get away with anything. Just read the headings and you’ll get the idea. But don’t stop there.
Read the explanation to discover why there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Irresistible Reason #1 | Don’t Judge Me
You can’t judge me. The Bible says so. “Judge not, that you be not judged.” (Matthew 7:1).
But that’s not all it says, and there’s a reason for it. You can’t live a healthy, happy life without good judgment. The principle being taught isn’t, “don’t judge”. It’s way better than that.
There’s a difference between being judgemental and practicing good judgment.
For example, when I tell my son not to touch a hot stove because he’ll get burned, I’m teaching him to practice good judgment. When I tell him how stupid and moronic he is for even thinking about touching a hot stove, or when I tell him how much better I am than him because I would never touch a hot stove, that’s being judgmental. One is helpful, constructive, protective and teaches wisdom. The other is condemning, destructive and causes the kind of resentment that leads people to ignore legitimate warning signs.
We all need help learning good judgment. Sometimes others see the danger ahead before we do. No one needs the arrogance of self-righteousness thrown in their face.
Irresistible Reason #2 | Don’t Throw the First Stone
My sin isn’t any worse than yours. The Bible says so. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” (John 8:7).
This is a pretty effective trump card. Someone takes a stand to identify something sinful. Someone else is quick to remind them, “But you sin too. Your sin is no worse than mine.” And then follows the silence.
Like the crowd that condemned the woman caught in adultery, when confronted by the truth of their own sin the crowd is silenced and one-by-one slips off into history. It’s true. We all sin. And your sin is no better than mine. But the principle being taught is so much better than that.
There’s a difference between being condemned for your sin and confronted because of your sin.
This crowd wasn’t confronting sin. They were condemning the woman. Like the difference between being judgmental and practicing good judgment, Jesus confronts their sin. But the crowd didn’t stick around long enough to hear the rest of the story. Instead, they left. They left alone, reminded of their failure, without hope of redemption.
We all sin. It’s true. But there is hope beyond condemnation. It’s a hope we’ll never know until someone confronts our sin.
Irresistible Reason #3 | Jesus Loves Everybody
Jesus loves me and accepts me as I am. You should too. The Bible says so. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 19:19).
Jesus does love you. He taught, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” He went further than that. He said, “Love your enemy.” But what does love do? If we finish the story of the woman caught in adultery we see what love does. After the crowd is silenced and slips off alone Jesus turns to the woman to ask a question, “Who condemns you?” She answers, “No one.” He responds, “Neither do I.”
Jesus, the only one truly worthy of being judgmental and casting condemnation, makes a loving choice. He chooses not to condemn. He gives her the very thing she needs. It’s the same thing the crowd needs. It’s the same thing you and I need.
But it’s so much better than that.
Forgiveness isn’t the end of the thing. It’s the beginning. After forgiving, Jesus lovingly confronts the woman, without being judgmental he encourages her to practice good judgment. He says, “Go and sin no more.” (John 8:11).
The grace Jesus gives to forgive also empowers me to overcome sin.
All of this can be said a bit more plainly.
- God loves people.
- Sin hurts people.
- Jesus died for my sin and rose from the dead.
- Jesus forgives my sin.
- The grace Jesus gives to forgive also empowers me to overcome sin.
- It is my intention, out of gratitude for the sacrifice made for me and the knowledge that sin hurts me, to confess and overcome sin in my life.
- The love of God compels me to share these truths with others. What truth?
- God loves people. Sin hurts people. Jesus died for your sin and rose from the dead. Now you can be forgiven and overcome sin.
Next time you need a reason to do something sinful, remember these three, and remember the deeper truth behind them all.