The world is all about acceptance, and Christians struggle endlessly with it.
Everyone considers the idea of acceptance, especially with matters that are right with the world but not with the Word. Most of the time, kindness and acceptance are a great thing. The old belief of choosing love instead of judgment gave way to a so-called “healthier” Christian community.
As a Christian, your efforts to “love the sinner, hate the sin,” however, could sometimes lead to confusion between blind acceptance and real love. It is a positive thing because you learn to accept others, but how can you REALLY love those who struggle?
Reality Check: It is Harsh
Unfortunately, the world sees “acceptance” as a sugar coat for one unpleasant word: superficiality. After all, who wants a fake friend?
For example, when a friend deals with a problem such as drug addiction, it is tempting to leave them be. You don’t want to appear unloving or judgmental, so, as an excuse, you use love to avoid difficult conversations. While you do avert the disaster of crying and conflict, Renaissance Ranch Ogden, a drug recovery center, says that you are just prepping your friend for the worst.
True friendship addresses the problem with the painful truth. Allowing them to wallow in harmful habits is an easier alternative, but will destroy the people you love in the future.
Acceptance Vs. Love
Contrary to popular belief, acceptance and love are different. The former is cleaner and easier while the latter is difficult and messy.
Love is not about tolerating and avoiding fights — it is about standing up for what is right and calling out friends for harmful behavior. Their actions hurt them and because you love them, you hold them accountable.
True love doesn’t accept sin because it wants what’s best for your loved ones. It’ll get messy and painful, but these are real relationships that grow through truth.
Grace is Essential
Love shares a strong link with grace. Because real love is painful, you’ll need grace to carry on. Everyone is a sinner in need of accountability. Grace exists to help friends realize that truth sheds light on sin because of love.
Rather than love the sinner and secretly accept the sin, love the broken sinner and encourage them to be the person Christ called them to be. Speak the truth and real change will occur.