Shhh, let's not talk about sin


“Because we want to keep the peace, and not hurt each other’s feelings. Besides, if you talk about sin, who are you to judge because Matthew 7 vs 1 says ‘Do not judge or you too will be judged…’ “

Above are the many reasons I have heard whenever I have wanted to talk about sin, whether mine or someone else’s (some of you have tensed up because you are in the ‘why talk about someone else’s sin?’ camp). I felt this article pressed upon my spirit due to the misunderstanding of the following things

  1. Judging each other
  2. Talking about sin (and correcting)

Those are two big things so let’s get right into it!

1. Judging each other

Don’t judge?

Probably one of the most mis-used verses in the bible is Matthew 7 vs 1 which reads

Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

Matthew 7 vs 1 (NIV)

It is mishandled and taken out of context three times over.

  1. Christ does not say “never judge”. He warns there is a consequence to judgement.
  2. This statement is immediately followed by instructions from Christ on the proper way to use judgement.
  3. Jesus’ other teachings explicitly indicate that right judgement is necessary while hypocritical or shallow judgement is wrong. Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.’ John 7 vs 24

It is modern culture that has pushed this notion of we shouldn’t judge each other. Happily someone shallow (I hope they were well-meaning but unlikely) read this verse and was happy that the bible supports him/her and will be defended by it whenever someone talks about how they are sinning. “Who are you to judge me?

So, what now?

Yeah, unfortunately, we have to judge each other but in the correct way. The problem has always been hypocrisy in judgement, which Jesus explicitly notes in the following verses…

3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Matthew 7 vs 3 to 5 (NIV)

But notice what Jesus did (and I absolutely love it. The bible is amazing).

Not only did Jesus speak against hypocrisy, but He also gave the solution. Remove the plank out of your own eye, only then will you be able to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

The last part I put in italics is the part that many people forget (willingly in my opinion), that we are supposed to remove specks from each other’s eyes.

Which is a nice segue to the second point

2. Talking about sin

Let’s just hammer the point home about helping each other. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians says the following

What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?

1 Corinthians 5 vs 12 (NIV)

Let me re-write the verse.

“Are you (yes YOU) not to judge those inside?”

Before the “read the ‘read the verse in context’ army comes after me”, read it in context as well. Although the story is started by addressing an adulterous son, Paul is simply saying hold each other accountable when you are in the body of Christ.

Which is what I think is the root problem.

We don’t talk about sin enough

For reasons stated in the first paragraph, we are so scared talk about sin especially about each other’s sin (of course, if you know you have a plank in your own eye, don’t. Wait I think I have to explain this verse as well)

Sidenote - Remove the plank in your own eye

It’s so easy to see sin in others but not our own. Be as critical of others, but be twice that to yourself. We are often kind to ourselves and give ourselves grace that we don’t give others when we judge.

Now, we will always sin. That’s the unfortunate part of the human condition. So does that mean we shouldn’t judge and correct each other? No. It all goes back to the heart and also, you might have a particular sin that you conquered like sexual sin, drunkenness, debauchery, lying etc. Once you have removed the planks or started the journey of removing those sins in your eye can you remove a speck from your brother and sister.

Back to talking about sin.

I think it’s a dis-service to have a friend that does not lovingly correct me according to the principles of our faith because they want to keep the peace. What good is it that we keep our friendship, but I lose my soul?

And even I know in myself, that pride might not want to listen to someone correcting me. But once that seed is planted, it will be something that will grow in me that hey, maybe I am not supposed to be doing this thing I am doing.

We should be able to correct and be corrected when we are wrong. That’s just how we are supposed to live in the body of Christ.

I see this turning a blind eye to our own and peers sin is what has made us lose our morality and made us lukewarm Christians. The standard is Christ. Remember, He instructed us to be perfect… (Matthew 5 vs 48) meaning we should imitate the loving qualities of God, who is the heavenly standard of righteousness and perfection.

And quite frankly, God in His love, also corrects us and does not ignore our sin, much like a parent whose child is headed in the wrong direction. Let us follow that example and help each other with sin as much as possible, in a loving and righteous manner.

This would be a good place to end because the last paragraph sounded like a conclusion.😂 But I have two more things on my heart to say. If you are tired, you can scroll down and respond or comment. Or read on. In any case, thank you for reading thus far.

Bonus(es, is this the plural of bonus?)

Judging is not condemning

‘He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.’

John 8 vs 7

Familiar story of the woman caught in adultery. I have a friend who made the mistake of conflating ‘judging’ with ‘condemning’ and I wanted to clear this up. Yes, the Pharisees and teachers of the law had judged the woman (that’s how they knew she was doing wrong in the first place. I wonder what Jesus was writing down though in verse 6 and 8).

Their problem was that they hadn’t judged to correct or help the woman with grace, they wanted to stone her, effectively condemning her to death.

That’s why Jesus says “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Note the grace of Jesus that He forgives our sins and instructs us to leave our lives of sin, not condemn us to death.

They don’t want help

So don’t. Leave them alone. Paul instructs us to distance ourselves from people living in obvious sin in 1 Corinthians 5. Does that mean we shouldn’t tell them about their sin? No. Read Matthew 28 vs 19

You run the risk of losing your own faith if you live among people who want to live in obvious sin. Do the thing Jesus said in Matthew 10 vs 14.

Shake the dust off your feet and move away.

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