I have of late encountered a great deal of cynicism and argument about an idea I have always considered simple common sense and quite a fundamental principle for life: the idea that we should love people even though we may consider their actions or thoughts or beliefs wrong.  Love sinners but hate sin, to paraphrase St. Augustine.

I lived by this principle when I was not a Christian.  I live by it more  fully now that I am a Christian.  And I am rather at a loss to understand what is so difficult about it.

Sins can always be repented of.

Thoughts and behaviors can always change.

But people are always people.

There is no person alive who is never sinful and never wrong. 

There is also no person alive who is never good and never right.

If we remember these things, then we can very easily know how to hate sins but love sinners.  We can know how to hate certain thoughts and behaviors but still love the thinkers and the doers.

This all seems pretty evident to me.

But perhaps it’s not really a matter of genuine cynicism or difficulty.  Perhaps it is simply a quick and easy defense mechanism to say, “You can’t love me if you think I am so wrong or so bad” or “If you hate what I do/think/believe, then you must hate me.”  Perhaps it is easier than dealing with the apparent paradox of being loved by somebody who also thinks you are wrong.  Perhaps it is easier to resent that love instead of accepting it.

About these ads