Wednesday, March 17, 2010

101 Wednesday--Questions

The lovely and talented Dawn hosts this feature to encourage thoughts on faith. And although she is not hosting this week, I have already planned a 101 Wednesday.  So here it is, an orphan.

I have pondered the fine point between being righteous and judgemental and giving tacit approval to sin. And who am I to judge sin?  Well, I'm nobody.  But still in trying to live a moral and upright life there have been clear distinctions in some areas, it seems to me.  Aren't some things still sins?  At what point am I condoning sin and what point am I being judgemental?

The first area of discernment seems to me the command to put on love.  Be loving to all.  Obviously I am not called to make disparaging comments or gossip or even yell about the sin I might see.  But am I called to bring up what I see to the sinner?  Am I called to mention it?  Or should I ignore it?  Or should I avoid the person who is in the midst of sin?   

Let's say for example that my friend or cousin moved in with her boyfriend.  Would that not be sin?  Might I mention to that person that she should get married or live apart?  If she were talking about marriage, might I not encourage her to marry in the church and go through preparations required by the church instead of a civil ceremony or to be married by somebody on a beach at some holiday destination? Might I want to encourage the grace and blessings involved in the holy sacrament of marriage? Would it depend on how close I was to that person and whether the topic came up?

I have pondered these questions lately.  At what point am I being friendly and encouraging to a fellow sojourner in life and at what point am I allowing that person to think that I think what I see is absolutely okay with me?  And should it be okay, or should I be bothered?  I keep reminding myself to put on love.  But in this case, what is the loving choice?

Thus is the dilemma of Christianity.


TL. said...

first I love the new lay out!! I had been reading your posts on my feed reader and I missed the change!!!

Second I'd like to comment on your post if you don't mind..
You shouldn't feel bad about judging a sin. Judging SOMEONE is different. And the way you address it, of course, matters.Your example is a really good one, because when a sin is commonly accepted, you may be the odd one calling it a sin..
For a distant acquaintance I'd just say "congratulations on your wedding, it's beautiful to see people ready for a life-long commitment, a narrow path but so worth it!" and just move on. For a closer relative I'd try to get one on one time to talk about marriage prep and what is the meaning of it and all... Because I don't think I could ever go to someone and say "this thing you keep doing is a sin", but I could go to the person and engage a conversation about it..
My friend is living with her boyfriend and I discussed once with her about the benefits of living together without a commitment; and how to me and many statistics it's not a good idea, because you can't give it a try if you know you can bail out. Like for raising a child. You can sure babysit, but it's not the same...
Anyway. I like to look how Jesus does to address a sin. He looks at the person and loves them, and then he questions their behavior. And the person knows. No need to say "this or that is a sin" Ask "is this really what you want? Is this what you are craving for?"

thanks for sharing your thoughts on that question. It comes back pretty often..

dandelionmom said...

Ponder this are leading a children's Bible study...during prayer 2 children pray for their Daddy to come home and marry their Mama. Both have the same Daddy but different Mamas.

I think most people define "judge" wrong we should all always be judging things and actions and determining what is sinful. Encouraging another believer to follow God or helping them see sin is not judging but helping. Condemning them yourself is another matter. Judging is important -we need to judge our own actions more--weigh ourselves against the standard of Godliness---much more important than telling random strangers not to take the Lord's name in vain.

Tami said...

I love your Wednesday 101s. I too struggle in this area.
I used to think, just lead by example. I say used to because what I am noticing is leading by example isn't enough. Those I have been trying to lead, don't seem interested in following. That Catholic/Christian thing is something that is good for me, but not for them. They don't see that they too could find more joy in their lives if they followed Christ.
I hope others with wisdom in this area will share their knowledge. I'll be back for suggestions.

Mary said...

I am pretty clear about these things most of the time, but just lately I have had a couple of challenges in this area. I have disguised the actual situations to protect the guilty and the innocent.

And Dandelionmom, only in a small town would you know that much about someone to know 'whose your daddy.' But good on the moms for taking the kids to Sunday school anyway. And you for teaching it.