Habits Can be Harmful
Over the course of my 30 years as a Christian, I have seen some habits. But there is one habit that Christians have that is a serious problem and the most damaging. It is indicative of a misunderstanding of the Word and a true lack of understanding of the unconditional love of God.
This habit says that “You are defective through sin, therefore, you must be removed.”
It is the habit of self-righteous judgment and it brings condemnation, which is in direct opposition to God’s word that tells us that:
“there is therefore NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
What Happens When We Treat People Holistically
I liken it to something that happened to my husband many years ago. He had a split in the skin of his finger near his fingernail on his big thumb. Because he was a mechanic and had his hands in mechanical fluids on and off all day long, the split got infected. Over the course of time, he developed osteomyelitis in his thumb. By the time he was seen at the hospital, he was in serious trouble, as Osteomyelitis can spread very rapidly through the bones and cause death.
The first doctor who examined him recognised the problem straight away and told him we need to operate straight away and cut off the top third of your thumb or you will lose your life.
My husband who is also an artist, pleaded with this doctor to get a second opinion. The second opinion was the Registrar who consulted a Surgeon and he agreed with the first doctor’s opinion that that the diseased part had to go to save the whole.
My husband pleaded with them to give him a chance, to try and save it before they cut it off. They agreed to give him a set number of days and to treat it with a very strong antibiotic. So they put a pic line in near his heart and pumped him full of antibiotics and he recovered with his thumb in tact.
I am telling you this story because too often Christians see the failings in fellow Christians and they want to amputate that person, to cut them off, when what that person actually needs is for someone to believe that they can recover from their failing and to walk the road of recovery with them.
The Prodigal Son
The story of the Prodigal Son highlights how God loves us unconditionally, forgiving all of our failings, our bad habits and loving us back into wholeness. And also the story of how the Good Shepherd left the 99 to go in search of the 1 that was lost.
Recovery is possible for every Christian and there is no sin that is more terrible than another. Someone who gossips is as guilty of transgressing God’s ways as a murderer. Sin is not graded and just because one person’s sin is more obvious than another’s doesn’t mean that as a body we should exclude them.
God spoke to me recently about this, as a friend had been through an experience where their weaknesses became very public and I was feeling angry with them for their failings. The Holy Spirit straight up told me it was none of my business, it was between them and God. That my job was to love and support them to wholeness.
Humbled, I made the decision to love them unconditionally. This is the challenge. We must remember that when one part of the body suffers, we all suffer. So it is in our BEST interests, to help that person recover if we want to have a healthy body.
Compassion and love cost us little and change people’s lives. Condemnation and judgment, two very bad habits, requires a lot of energy and harms people.