How to see a stranger as blameless
I have a short temper when it comes to sin.
Or rather, I have a short temper when it comes to another person’s sin.
This is a raw truth about myself that isn’t often displayed. Meaning, why admit something like this? Because I know that I am not alone, and if you’re reading this thinking you aren’t one of those people, then this post is just as much for you.
Our judgement of those around us is ingrained in our blood. The blood of our flesh that is. We are born into a destined fight against the temper, frustrations, and emotional turmoil of ourselves as sinners and the world we live in. The problem with this ingraining, is that we look outward instead of inward. We naturally want to place others as the problem, while we stand there and title them so.
Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil
Our God set an example to love those that we naturally want to hate; naturally want to judge and mock; those that have us convinced they don’t understand. But here’s the truth in that: the flesh doesn’t know any better.
We can’t blame someone for something that they do not know. Those that don’t know Jesus, don’t know sin. They don’t understand. Instead of judging them, we should be loving them- because we sin too- but we are saved, and they are not. That’s not a truth worth our appraisal, but rather a truth that should deeply sadden us and move us in their direction.
So, my temper when I see a sin before me that is reckless, illogical, and hateful, the anger I possess is not one for the gospel to be heard but because I am judging their stupidity. I have deemed them unworthy by their actions instead of a righteous anger for their salvation. There is a damaging difference between the two, and I think it’s too often that we, as believers, take the wrong route.
This difference in anger is the same as “practicing what you preach.” It’s listening to your own anger and understanding that its’ target is not the person in front of us specifically, but sin entirely. That means focusing the arrow inward, as well. Recognizing that we are not better than that person. They don’t deserve my secret frustration and animosity that I put forth towards them, and Jesus doesn’t deserve that either. He was sacrificed so that my anger towards a fellow human’s natural flaw is wiped with His blood. That person is not to be held to the stakes because if so, then we’d all be up there with him. Jesus did that, so we don’t have to.
So, my prayer is that I stop lifting people to their death. I stop judging them based on the anger that should be used as fuel to proclaim the gospel. An anger that should be put forth in love, not wrath. An anger that should be laid at His feet, knowing He solidifies all things, conquers all things, and is over all things. We are not.
And sometimes, that’s not something my prideful self wants to accept naturally. I have to remind myself, through cultivating Him at the center of my daily life. I have to train my heart to see and hear those sins as a welcoming to spread love and grace. I have to see their lack of knowing as the mission God has given us.
I have to see them, as me. See them, as Jesus does. Blameless and free.