I am grieved. There have been two recent events where those who name the name of Christ have belittled another. If that wasn’t bad enough, after being called out for the despicable behavior, instead of apologizing and confessing the sin, these people went on to make excuses as if that would justify the sin.
Sin is not justifiable. Pain from losing a loved one is understandable. Being low on patience because of a pregnancy is expected. Conflicts with family members will certainly raise the stress level. However, none of these should be used to justify the sin of belittling another. We are called to love one another. We can love because God first loved us. When we receive the love of God, but then do not share that love with others, we are like unto the man who had his debt forgiven, but then went out and demanded his debtors repay all they owed him.
Blaming our sin on the loss of a loved one dishonors the memory of that loved one. We make ourselves into an idol when we make excuses for our sin. We are saying we are above God’s standard. Sin is never justifiable. There is no excuse – we are without excuse.
Another reason I was grieved is because I saw myself from a few years ago. Excusing sin is a result of bad theology – a theology that preaches the gospel only as a means of entrance into “the club” but then ignores the gospel and focuses on getting the club members to keep the club rules. When the gospel is replaced by a list of rules and a list of standards for the church members to try to keep, the church members begin to think they are capable of living up to some “holy” standard. They foolishly begin to compare themselves to others and begin to think they are better than others because they are keeping the list better or keeping “higher” standards. They begin to forget that they sin every day. They begin to think their right standing with God is maintained by how well they keep the list rather than by the work of Christ. This inevitably leads to a holier-than-thou attitude, and when one begins to think he or she is better than others, then when that one sins against another who is deemed less right with God, the sin can be excused. This ought not to be.
We need to preach the gospel to ourselves each and every day. The gospel is not just the key to gaining entrance to the kingdom. It is the key to loving others. When we remember Christ’s work for us and how he loved us, if we remember how great our sin was for which Christ died, how could we not love others for whom Christ died?
People know we are disciples of Christ because of our love one towards another. Can people see you are a disciple when you belittle someone and make excuses? Jesus Christ suffered for those sins. He loved you so much that he endured the shame of the cross for you. Can you not show that love to others? No excuse is a good excuse.