When The Sin is So Ugly, You Just Don’t Want to Look

What happens when someone who has been struggling with sin, desires freedom, accountability, and godliness?

What happens when that sin is a sensitive subject that most people are deathly afraid of?

What happens when that sin is one of the top most secretive heart issues walking around in the Church? When it’s ugly? (Contagious even?) Scandalous??

Though every time that sin is an ancient temptation over which the Holy Spirit guarantees freedom, we certainly blunder our way through what to do…?!

To whom can a person turn if everyone who knows the Truth is afraid of her? What happens when the Church is afraid, shocked, cowardly, or uncaring towards the one who needs time, grace, and instruction? When we turn our backs on each other, the sinner begins to believe that the devil has her hands tied.

But he doesn’t.

Scripture teaches us that “God is faithful, who will not suffer us to be tempted above what we are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that we may be able to bear it.” (1 Cor. 10:13). This escape is through our Savior Jesus – our Wonderful Counselor – and through the Holy Spirit – who is our sure accountability when we listen to His promptings, warnings, and encouragements. But He often works the way of escape through people in the Church who simply must enter each other’s lives to encourage, bolster, redirect, and reconcile each other.

Perhaps taboo temptations inspired Paul to teach in his letter to the the Galations, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ… as we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”

Perhaps temptations like this inspired James to write, “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.”

There is an appropriate time when we must go after each other; let’s not always require others to figure out who would be a safe, strong, humble, restorative friend; let’s be that friend ourselves.

I used to think that Paul’s and James’ instructions about “restoring the sinner” lent themselves to witch-hunting and misjudgment. But after today’s reflection, I can see that when led by the Holy Spirit, these teachings lend themselves to graciousness and rescue.






3 responses to “When The Sin is So Ugly, You Just Don’t Want to Look”

  1. Amanda Avatar

    Very thought-provoking subject. Thanks for posting.

  2. martha Brady Avatar

    very true! also very convicting. i know of someone i want to reach out to that i know is struggling but i hardly know her…and she hasn’t seemed to particularly like me. ugh! i might even have to step out of my comfort zone…AGAIN:) fortunately, i have God’s limitless resources at my disposal!

  3. Rachel Avatar

    We were reading in Luke today about this very thing where the woman who is a sinner comes to Simon’s house and bathes the Savior with her tears and anoints his feet with oil. Simon looks at her with disgrace and points out her flaws to the Savior, but the Savior says that she is showing by her works how much she loves him.

    It was a good discussion and something I need to continue to ponder- that we need to not contribute to other individual’s pains and that we need to have the courage to reach out to others so that they know that there is hope in the Savior, hope in forgiveness and in His perfect love.

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