Wednesday, January 25, 2017
loving people and hating their sin
Today in A Year with the Church Fathers, we read a quote from St. Augustine, which he wrote in The City of God. He is perhaps the first person to write this sentiment, but it's been echoed throughout the ages by everyone from Gandhi to C.S. Lewis to Mylon LeFevre.
The idea is to love sinners and hate their sin. This may sound odd when you first hear it, but it definitely makes alot of sense, and here's why: as Lewis points out, we do this very thing all day long every day with one sinner in particular. Ourselves. We hate our sin, but we love ourselves. We want good for ourselves. We want to be blessed and to have happy, healthy lives. That's part of what love means.
So practicing the golden rule simply means wishing the same on other people. Hating the sin which holds them back from being what God intended them to be. Wishing the best for them, and genuinely hoping that they have happy, healthy lives.
God, thank You for teaching us by various teachers through time that we should love sinners (like ourselves) and hate their sin.