“Many seem zealous against, sin, when they are any way hurt by it, but have no concern for the glory of God, nor any dislike of sin as sin. Many seem enemies to sin in others, while they indulge it in themselves. Saul will drive the devil out of his kingdom, yet harbors him in his heart by envy and malice.” Matthew Henry
How many times do I hate sin in other people- the sin hurts me and frustrates my day, but do not hate my own sin?
In 1 Samuel 28: 3, it says Saul hated the sins of his people- their worshipping mediums and spirits and he even went as far as to drive the idol worship out of the land. However, at the same time, he didn’t hate his own sin. He was still terribly jealous of David and wanted to kill him out of his envy.
“What is the solution to such a dilemma? Hating others sin while being oblivious or not hating my own?” I believe there are two solutions:
1) Not focusing on other people’s sins.
If someone sins against me, I can go to them and confront them and try to makes things right, but if their sin is none of my business; I need to stay out of it. I must guard against judging others just like it says in the verse below.
Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
2) Constantly asking the Lord to search my heart for sin, and living in Christ’s freedom freedom from sin.
Whenever I see sin in someone else that frustrates me, I can ask God to show me my own sin. This takes the focus off pointing fingers and puts it on my life and my heart today.
Sometimes I feel like Paul in the veers below*. I don’t want to sin but I do. I hate it that I do, but feel almost helpless to stop. Thankfully there is an answer to all of this! He says in verse 25, it’s Jesus Christ! It’s not about hating myself for sinning because that’s self consuming. It’s about being genuinely sorry for my sin and sinful attitudes. It’s about remembering Christ always gives me an escape when I am confronted with sin (1 Cor 10:13**) and it’s about choosing repentance, freedom, and forgiveness in Christ. It’s about living Spirit filled, abiding in Him, doing my best every moment to be pleasing in His sight and concerned with His glory.
Today I’m thankful, I can rest in the fact that Jesus can take care of other people’s sin; He can handle it; I don’t need to. I can also rest in that Jesus has the power not only to show me my sin but to help me to hate it. Jesus Christ can help me turn from sin and help me to live free.
**“17-20 But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
21-23 It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
24 I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
25 The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.”
Romans 7 (message)
*1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.