Jesus, Friend of Sinners

Lately God humbled me by reminding me I was unsaved once. He urged me to recall what life was like BC—before Christ.

Not long ago a man who has not yet received Jesus as Savior lied to me repeatedly and showed little remorse when confronted. I felt angry and compelled to deliver a lecture about lying. A part of me wanted him out of my life until he was ready to get right with God and improve his behavior.

Verses from the Bible that speak of how much God hates lying came to mind. I’ll show him those verses, I thought. Instead God wanted to show them to me.

I remembered lying being mentioned two different times.  But what I had forgotten was what was at the top of the list of things God hates—“haughty eyes.” Here is how those verses read:

There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-10 NIV 1984

God revealed to me I continue to have a problem with arrogance toward the unsaved—especially when they sin against me. Once again He’s had to make it clear that any good thing in my life is because of His grace and nothing that is good in me. If not for God, I would be sinning in big ways against many people. Even with Him, I still slip into treating people badly.

When I have this proud, “I’m-better-than-you” attitude, I tend to step back from the unsaved as I look down at them.

Jesus didn’t do that.

In fact, the Bible says this:

While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick”… Matthew 9:10-13

This is how a friend put it in a blog she wrote recently: “I read in Scripture of a God who came to earth to walk among men to show the love He had to offer. He chose to mingle with the unlovables, the social outcasts of His day. He didn’t agree with the lifestyles or the religious fanaticisms, but He loved them anyway. Because He loved them where they were at, many were drawn to Him.”

That’s my struggle—to love people where they’re at. Too often I expect unsaved people to behave better—even to act Christlike.

I pray often that people be drawn closer to God, but lately I’ve discovered anew that I can be the stumbling block that keeps them away.

Oh for grace to love others extravagantly—the way Jesus loves me.

About elainecreasman

I am a freelance writer and inspirational speaker. Since 1986 I have led the Suncoast Christian Writers Group.
This entry was posted in Spiritual Growth and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Jesus, Friend of Sinners

  1. thompsons5 says:

    I loved this piece. Great reminder when I stand directing traffic at the school.

  2. Dear Elaine
    Your heart is open this is why the Father can show you where your life needs help. I thank you, for this is my struggle too; With me it is easy to come off harsh when I see loved ones destroying and wasting their youth…especially if they are making the same mistakes that I made. I ask the Father to teach me to look at them with love as He did those who crucified Him and pray for them.
    God Bless

  3. Tammy Bovee says:

    Elaine, thanks for your gentle, humble heart from which the truth of this article flows. Our eyes even send messages about our attitude. People can read our heart without us even speaking. I often try to imagine what Jesus eyes look like as he’s talking to-the woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, the pharisees. At the root, everything flowed from his perfect heart. Truly as Christians we all need to guard our hearts vigilantly, because the heart is the well-spring of life! Thanks for the beautiful reminder.

  4. Jane Reece says:

    Pierced my heart. Many thanks!

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