Saturday, June 18, 2016

Be a Lover, Not a Hater

This isn't my image. It's the cover photo from
Rev. Simmons' blog post
I've long wanted to write a piece describing why I think the phrase "hate the sin, love the sinner," is not as loving of a response as people want it to be. But lo and behold, I have been beaten to the punch. After the mass shooting perpetrated at the nightclub in Orlando last week, the Rev. David Simmons wrote a great piece that connected that tragedy with how we, as Christians, cannot keep using that phrase as justification to denounce someone's "lifestyle choices" while continuing to "love at" a particular group of people.

That being said, please read his post. But nevertheless, I have a few things that I want to say, too...

The biggest reason why I dislike this phrase, and what I've wanted to share with you, is that it seems to ignore the person's emotion reaction. Or at least, someone who is going to love a sinner is trying to seem like they care about a person, and soften the blow of the "truthbomb" that they are about to drop. But that's not really love, if you're feeling called to hate part of a person.

I get frustrated with these haters because they don't stop to look at things from the point of view of this other person. Rather than meet this person on their terms and try to understand why they do what they do, a hater is going to assume that they already understand this person. More than that, the hater is going to assumer perfect understanding of what this sinner is doing wrong, and that they alone have the answer to their problems.

It's prideful to think like this.

It's pompous and self-aggrandizing.

I would much rather have humility; assuming that I don't understand this person's life. I would rather approach this person with a motive to ask them to show me their world and their reality, but not so that I can judge it. I just want to ask questions.

Maybe this person will change. Maybe not. Maybe I'll change. Maybe I'll ask them questions and realize that I've had a log in my own eye the whole time, but I didn't realize it.