You've probably heard the phrase "Love the sinner but hate the sin." Unfortunately it's nearly impossible to keep that straight, and it's too easy to let some of that hate for sin bleed over onto the sinner.
Over the years I've become more and more convinced of two things. First, I don't know everything. In fact, the older I get and the more wisdom I gain, the more I realize I don't have all the answers. I don't even know all the questions. Second, I'm convinced that our savior knows all the questions, holds all the answers, yet he loves us anyway.
Billy Graham is quoted saying "It's the Holy Spirit's job to convict, God's job to judge, and my job to love."
When the patient is crashing, no one judges how they fell into their current condition, they only respond with immediate action. Healthcare providers listen intently to every word, every sign, every monitor, every stat lab. And they respond with one thought.
Save this life.
When someone is heart-broken, feeling forgotten or abused, lonely, unsure, just trying to find answers or grappling for hope, there is no time to judge, no time to ruminate, only time to listen to the signs that scream for hope, for a chance to live.
Too often we want to take a stand. But too often, taking a stand is like refusing to initiate treatment because the patient brought this overdose on themselves. They smoked themselves into a heart attack or drank themselves into liver failure. Does it matter? Do doctors and nurses stop what they're doing because the patient doesn't deserve it?
Instead of taking a firm stand, what if we sit down with people, meet them where they are and listen?
What if we choose to love the sinner and hate our own sin?