Today my mind is in overload. It started with a meeting I had with a friend this week. I met with many people this week, so it's easy to try not to guess who or what or when or when, just that this meeting sparked so much intense thoughts, frustration, anger at times and I realized I just have to surrender it all to God, and do what I can in His kind of way.
The question of sorts is why, as Christians, we decide what sin is more sinful than another. We do decide that don't we? Even when God speaks clearly in the Bible that sin is sin we decide every day through our eyes of judgements. So here again that tricky word judgement that we as Christians seem to have written the definitions and own them so convincingly that we send non-believers, and even believers away with pain, hurt, and no hope what so ever.
Many many years ago I went through a really rough time in my life. Making bad "sin" decisions left and right. Did I get any support from anyone from the body of Christ. No, not a one. Some may argue that I would not listen. But did anyone ever pick up a phone and meet with me face to face, pray with me, confront the sin in my life and offer any kind of hope? Nope, no one from what seemed like a life of long term Christian friends. I got emails, and a phone call just to cancel a meeting with me, but not one person met with me to come alongside my broken and confused heart. My sin was the ultimate bad sin and those who knew me appeared to have feared the consequence they might receive for confronting me. It hurt many years ago, the whispers behind my back, the actions that those even very close to me took.
And then with complete exposure of my heart I went to one solid Christian friend and laid out my life. Her response was simple..."you have been very stupid". She did not take one sin over the other, she did not judge where I was at, she called it what it was stupid. She prayed with me, and then for the next year walked me through much healing in my life. Yet those who judged and never came around continued for years to place so much judgement on what my life was. Moments of bad choices apparently were my lifestyle and for years very little face to face contact, understanding or opportunities to heal.
This week I gently spoke of God's design, the best I know how, bases on what the Bible says about sin and God's healing in our lives. Someone who is living every single day in what we Christians would say is "the bad kind of sin". As I sat and walked through scripture with this woman I realized that there was more healing and forgiveness in my heart for those who could not pick up a phone and meet with me. Who could love like Jesus did, who could meet me at the well and offer hope. The sin this woman is living in is no more worse than the sins in my own heart, that I am working through. Even if most would say "oh but this is really bad". This is a woman trying to learn how to pursue Christ in her life of bad decisions. If I had sat there, or chose not to meet with her until she got her act cleaned up, what message of hope or healing would there be for this woman?
My past expediences have truly taught my heart to be compassionate and to never turn away from someone who is living outside of God's will. Sin is sin. The sin in my life today does not under shadow the obvious sin in an other's life. All sin hurts the heart of God. I meet so many younger and older women who want to pursue God, but have been cast aside by Christians who will only judge in hurtful kinds of ways. I know most have been there and done that.
As I was speaking with this woman and hearing her desire to let go of this specific BIG BAD SIN it was not enough to just pray with her, throw some verses at her and hope for the best. This person needed to know that she could speak freely about her sin. So we went to James 5:16
" Therefore confess your sins one to another and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective"
The verse is speaking of Christian brothers and sisters. Knowledge that we as brothers and sisters will stumble and will need to be available to confess and pray for each other. Listening to this woman share was a bit shocking. I sat and prayed that God would only show compassion, love, and hope on my face. Not judgement and then withdraw from her. We prayed and I could only hope that the Holy Spirit would do a mighty work in her heart.
A few days later I got a call from her and weeks later she has been set free from this particular sin in her life. Freedom as sisters in Christ to expose the sin in our heart. A novel idea, but stated clearly in the Bible.
There are times when one of us is in sinking sand. We think when they want help they will reach for the rope and then we can pull them out. I think that sometimes we need to just forget that rope and grab that person's hand and help carry them to the cross. I wish I would have had that in my life years back. But then in not having had that I can now come along side women like this beautiful gal and through the Holy Spirit's leading offer Healing and Hope.
Dear Lord Jesus, Open our hearts to reach out and extend ourselves like you would do. Like the woman at the well you rested there and brought her to YOU. Let us know when to reach down and pull a sister or brother out of the sin they are facing without judgements, but with a heart of prayer, healing and hope.
P.S. Thanks Ann for loving me and showing me how stupid the sin in my life was. Thanks for not casting our friendship to the wind, but loving me and my family and for praying for me. You are still an amazing wise woman.