By now, more than a few of us have probably discovered that it is hard to point our finger at anyone other than ourselves as “the sinner”—without self-identifying as a first class hypocrite. How many times have we heard the distinction made about hating the sin, but loving the sinner, when those talking about “the sinner” were referring to themselves?
Yes, this can seem confusing. By the wisdom of Solomon, God hates a lot of practices that are harmful to ourselves and others (Prov 3:16-19). Isn’t it, then, our responsibility to fearlessly speak that truth?
Maybe not. We aren’t God. Nor has God, himself, condemned any sin without a plan and willingness to bear the pain and consequence of “the sinner” in the body of his own Son.
Jesus didn’t come to condemn anyone, but rather to be condemned by sinners like us—for us.
The result is that now when people like us cry out, “God me merciful to me the sinner” we get what we ask for—mercy. Just as importantly, by pointing the finger at ourselves, we find the credibility we need to declare the best news ever heard. There is hope for anyone like us.