15 May, Friday — Love the sinner, but hate the sin

Friday of 5th Week of Eastertide

Acts 15:22–31
Jn 15:12–17

This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you.”

There is once a saying — love the sinner but hate the sin.

Someone close to me had deeply hurt me recently by betraying my trust. I had to figure out how best I could love him in ending the friendship. Hurling at him hurtful and angry words was definitely not the right way, as this would generate more anger and harbour more bitterness in our hearts. Therefore, I decided to tell him how he hurt me and what he did wrong, whilst giving him an opportunity to amend his wrongdoings.

But what does it really mean to forgive someone? By ignoring this person, like what many millennials in today’s world do (we call it ‘ghosting’), or by ‘blocking’ the other person from being able to communicate with us any further, does it really give us a chance to forgive the other person? I believe that blocking and ghosting should be used as a last resort if the other person does not want to make any effort to reconcile the relationship, despite having been made aware of the sins that he has committed. This may be because our pride and ego may be standing in the way of our friendship. Sometimes, we feel like we do not want to apologize for our mistakes because we are afraid of what the other person may think of our weaknesses. We are afraid to be judged, and we are worried that our reputation may be ruined.

However, we must always remember to live in the light and truth of Christ. Everyone makes mistakes. Although there are always people who criticize us, we should remember that there are two types of criticisms. Constructive criticisms provide us with valuable advice on how we can improve ourselves, while destructive criticisms only serve to tear us down without any reasonable justification. We should ignore destructive criticisms but seriously consider constructive criticisms. And we should remember that those who are humble to acknowledge their faults and improve themselves will ultimately be blessed, and “they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5–15).

Likewise, we should strive to accept our friends for who they are, even if they have sinned against us. We should never condone their wrongdoings, but we should encourage them to repent and change for the better.

(Today’s Oxygen by Brenda Khoo)

Prayer: Dear Lord, please help us to be humble and acknowledge our faults when we have sinned against our friends. Please also help us to forgive those who have hurt us. Amen.

Thanksgiving: Dear Lord, thank you for giving us the gift of friendship and love, to be able to forgive those who have hurt us. Amen.

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