Should Christians Accept and Approve?

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I went to bed feeling a lot of pain … sudden. Like lightning strikes. My left leg feels burned. So I decided to get in The Word on a certain subject … and that led to another… and this poured out. Pain forgotten and ignored. Another form of righteous rebuke.

I think this passage clearly states we are to accept every fellow Believer.

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. ~ Romans 15:5-7

Now stand firm that “accept” does not mean “approve” when it comes to each other’s blatant sin. In fact, we should not “approve” of our own sin. Ever. Which of us is better than another in God’s eyes? We’ve got to lay down our stones. Even the pebbles.

We need to accept others, which entails love.

I used to label people. Not anymore. I hate labels. I often say “Love God and love people” when I really should be saying that with more detail… “Love God and love people because He asks us to and because He loved us first. Sometimes I wonder if we are making so much effort these days to love and accept those in the world to show then Christ that we are forgetting to love and accept our own Brothers and Sisters inside God’s family.

Isn’t the ultimate “pay it forward” concept paying LOVE forward? Isn’t that what He did and by example what we should do?

And it is not unloving to not approve of sin. How we point it out ~ and when we point it out ~ however, very well is in many cases. Like when it is not done in pure love…. pure.

How often do we search our hearts for pure love?

Is it when we toss a glance at what another person is wearing or driving and judge them, or even ourselves, inside of the envy log?

Is it when we write our diatribes on blogs and social media about an entire group of sinful people while we go about harboring our own unrepentant sin? { BIG logs.}

In searching for love in life, I always searched outside myself. That led to self-judgement so harsh I died on the inside every time. That led to judging others as a form of measuring up, or down, which was so harsh I died on the inside… every time. It was because of the log, the sin.

So while we should never approve of sin in anyone, Jesus is telling us to be very cautious when we point it out. In fact, He calls anyone who goes about it the wrong way as a “hypocrite”.

I still mess up sometimes, but thankfully that’s what Grace is for. But I really don’t want to be called out as a “hypocrite” by the One who loves me so much He died on the outside? Do you?

Live blessed,
Heather

Please walk with me in this journey. I’d love to encourage you. Lift you up. Love all over you.

Because I choose to …
#LIVEALLIN

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18 thoughts on “Should Christians Accept and Approve?

  1. parrillaturi says:

    I do accept, but do not approve either. Love the sinner, but hate the sin. I won’t judge either. God will change their hearts, if they are willing to follow Him. We need to set the example, other wise, how are we supposed to win them for the Lord? Great post. Blessings.

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    • Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer says:

      I’m so glad you have it right in your heart. So many Christians use that “hate the sin, love the sinner” as some Christian-eze statement to treat people badly with excuse. That breaks me heart.

      You are so right about setting the example! Great outlook!

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  2. bunnyb1802 says:

    Oh you’ve touched on a sore point. I have always struggled with the church on this. We seem to be the only army that shoots it’s own wounded all in the name of “love”!
    Yes, don’t say what is wrong is right, that would be stupid. But we seem so quick to point out the wrong that we don’t look to the reason of the wrong. Having been a prodigal with lots of messes emotionally that caused me to act out, I got plenty of the criticisms but little of the love and understanding to help me actually change my life.

    Having been on the end of such “Christian love”, I’m very careful now how I treat other Christians who struggle. Basically, pray first and then speak. Not the other way round.
    Great and thought-provoking post, Heather. Really, really good.

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    • Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer says:

      This…
      “We seem to be the only army that shoots it’s own wounded all in the name of “love”

      Boy you hit that nail on the head. Oh how the Church needs to wake up to this!

      I’m so sorry you had this happen to you. :( But learning from these things is how The Holy Spirit works inside us. That’s good for eternity. I just wish we could get it all right here.

      You are precious here, Caroline!

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      • bunnyb1802 says:

        Sad thing is, Heather, I’ve been both sides of the fence. The wounded and the sniper. Not great in either perspective. God is so forgiving and bears with us as we mature in Him.

        I’m learning now to have more empathy but also to be aware of the fine line in “speaking in love”, making sure that it is actually love and not just beating someone over the head when they are already in a low place.

        This relates to Emerson’s post in a lot of ways.

        Thank God we have a patient Father!

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  3. Susan Irene Fox says:

    Heather and Bunny, I agree with you both. We must look deeper and embrace individual people. We too often get into an attitude of, “Your sin is greater than my sin.” If we all adopted the apostle Paul’s humility in our hearts, “I am the worst of sinners,” we more often would be quick to offer grace, compassion and love. We more often might understand the deep history and hurt beneath the sin. We more often might offer an open hand of healing instead of a clenched jaw of judgment.

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  4. vwoods1212 says:

    Life gets quite weird in our world today; you share the love of Jesus with folks and they attack you saying you are judging them when it turns out they don’t believe in Jesus. The last time I check the word tells you tell about the love of God…

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  5. Annie B says:

    Yes…this reminds me of family, in general. We tend to let loose with our siblings…treat them sometimes with far less respect than we would a stranger. Yet, in some ways, we love them more. We take grace for granted. We forget they are people. We lose track of the value of them as a person because we associate them as a brother, a sister, a father, a mother, more than as a child of God. I do it. I do it with my own family members. I come home after a hard day of loving on those who may be really difficult to love, and then I can forget to love them. OR I can just blatantly choose (sinfully) to let the ugly in me come out on them. Not okay. Yet, human and “natural.” I feel this is one of the battles we contend with in the flesh in this world. If we are showing what we call REAL love to those we may not even know, but struggle really loving those in our own family…what then? What would Jesus say? I struggle so much with this: I even told my husband about six months ago….”these are the people we will live with for all eternity, and I don’t like a lot of them. Many of them don’t like me.” What do we do with that? We let God correct our hearts….we apply the log scripture to ourselves at home first. Inside out. Jesus shows us this is the way….God first, disciples (family of God) second, then the others. That is what I see we are missing. We forget….we forget to remember who comes first. We are to go out and proclaim the gospel, but not at the expense of our relationship to Jesus. The bride of Christ – the TRUE church – that is part (literally) of Jesus.

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  6. Barbie says:

    Such good truth to ponder. God is love. He alone gives us the ability to love. I have to continually ask Him to allow me to see others as He sees them, lest I fall into judgment. Blessings!

    Like

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