SATURDAY 3RD WEEK
Amy Strosser C ‘14
Looking Past the Sin and Loving the Sinner
“But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes
to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, 'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.' I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted." Luke 18: 13-14
The competitive society that we live in tends to rank human beings based on certain characteristics. For example, we rank people based on their looks, on their popularity, on how smart they are, etc. There are many times in which our minds rank people without us even realizing it. The fact that Bob has more social skills than Jim is something that we know automatically, and thus, society tells us that Bob is better than Jim. We see this type of language used all the time in the comparison of human beings. “He’s too good for her.” “She can do better than him.” Since when has it been our right to decide who is better than another? We see these outward appearances of each other, but we don’t know what is actually going through each other’s minds. “God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (Samuel 16:7). Just as it is unfair of us to judge another by looks, popularity, or IQ, it is also unjust for us to judge another by their sins because only God can be the judge of who deserves to go to heaven. It is important to realize which actions the Lord deems as right and which ones as wrong, but a person is more than a single act. God sees him as so much more than a tax collector and invites him to follow and become fully the person he was created to be. When we look at others can we see them as beloved in God’s eyes and called to become something more than their sins?
Lord, help me to not define others by what they do, but instead,
help me to love everyone in the way that You do. Amen.
Hos 6: 1-6, Ps 51: 3-4, 18-21b, Lk 18: 9-14