Read that title again. Which are you accustomed to saying? We all screw up. Find me a perfect person and all you’ve found is a liar. So when we screw up, what do you tend to say? Or think? Yes, this assumes we care at any level about our screw up.
My son and I had a really healthy talk this morning about selfishness. In a gentle conversation, I pointed out where I could see selfishness was being lived out. He paused and said, “Dad it hurts me that I know you’re right. I hate it.” It was in that moment I knew we could move forward. He saw it and was broken. As his dad though, I had to guide him to a very specific place: hate the sin, not the person.
We’ve been there, right? In the adult world, selfishness can drive us to really deep and sinful places. “It” should break us. We should hate “it.” But what is the “it?” You or the sin? I'm about to argue the “it” is your sin. Be mad at self? Sure there is a place for that. Hate self? God has not called you to HATE yourself. Please note, I am talking to my brothers and sisters in Christ. God has enemies. For those in Christ Jesus, you have all of Christ’s love and no ounce of His hate. Here are three things I want you to consider:
1. God hates sin.
Google “verses on God’s hate for sin.” You will find some deep verses. Here is one: Proverbs 8:13, “The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.” There is no shortage of verses declaring God’s utter hatred for sin. Holy God is NOT flippant with sin. We should not be either. The sin we commit, God hates and will punish it. All sin has or will be punished. Praise God for Jesus who took the punishment for my sin. I don’t need to belabor this point.
2. God loves you.
So we all sin, and God hates our sin. It is so easy to go to a place of self-hatred. But should we? Are you part of this world? John 3:16 speaks to you then; “16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
1 John 4:16 echoes this thought; “9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. “
Paul writes in Romans 5:8, “8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Clearly God loves you enough to punish sin in the person of Jesus. He’s not surprised by your sin. He sent Jesus knowing full well your sin. God loves you in all your sin. Jesus makes a way for us not to die in sin. GOD LOVES YOU. Who are we to hate what God loves? Think about that. Sit in that. Who are we to hate what God LOVES!
3. Grace moves us forward.
I hate my sin. I sit in it. My deep flaws have motivated this post. From this place, I too often sit in self-hatred. I have said boldly both statements; I hate myself and I hate my sin. I have wept both of those statements.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Grace is at the heart of our faith. If you’ve been around the church you’ve heard grace defined as “unmerited favor.” I don’t deserve it, I’ve not earned it, and yet God has given it to me. When I think about my sin in light of God’s blessings, I have no room to boast in anything, BUT in everything I have room to boast on my Jesus.
Grace moves us forward. I deserve to sit in my sin. I deserve to be punished and ruined for my sin. Grace is a gift that moves us forward. Paul destroyed churches and killed Christians. Did he earn the right to build the church? No. But grace. Grace empowered the church-destroyer to become a church-builder.
Grace flows from death as Arthur Pink argues in “The Attributes of God.” Grace flows out of the ashes of our old dead life and is a result of the death of our Savior.
So, see your sin as part of the dead life. Hate it. Hate that sin. Own it. Want nothing to do with it. Then RISE IN GRACE. MOVE FORWARD IN GRACE.
Where the enemy wants us to sit in judgment, condemnation and perpetual self-hatred, God loves you enough to graciously move you forward.
Love what God loves (YOU) and hate what He hates (SIN).
Keep Praying for ONE-
Pastor Jason Coache,
Lead Pastor at Wellspring Church