Sin managment versus Love management

John Smulo had an interesting post up today asking why abortion and homosexuality seem to be such hot political topics amongst Christians, almost to the exclusion of all else. It’s a great post, and I suggest you have a read.

The thing that caught my attention, though, was one of the comments. Kay writes:

I’m not sure why Christians focus on these two issues so much, to the exclusion of everything else. Then again, I’m not sure that focusing on specific sins of any flavor is helpful. It’s certainly hurtful. Does it bring people to God? Or does it drive them away?

I’m not saying that the topic of sin is not important. I think it’s very important. However, I think that ‘not sinning’ will be a natural response from a heart that is close to God, that feels God’s love, and upon realizing this, they love others in kind.

Put another way – I used to have OCD. The more that I worked on the OCD, the worse it got. The more I tried to overcome it, the more it consumed me. So I decided to stop working on overcoming it. I filled my life with other things and eventually the majority of the thoughts and actions went away.

I don’t think being a Christian should be about sin management. I think being a Christian should be about ‘love management.’ I think that if we aim our thoughts and hearts (hamartia) towards God and other (instead of selfishly inward), that the peace of God will follow.

That has to be one of the most profound things I’ve read in a while. Jesus reinterpreted the Law atthe Sermon on the Mount, making it impossible for humans to keep. Yet he summarised the Law in two statements: Love God, and love your neighbour. Discipleship is, for the Christian, about love, not staying away from a list of dos and don’ts, good as they may be.

It’s about love management, not sin management. I’ll be passing every sermon I preach through that filter now.

Thanks, Kay!

4 thoughts on “Sin managment versus Love management

  1. Oh my holy heckness!

    I had no idea you re-posted this here! I decided to follow you from John’s site to see if I might comment here as part of blog commenting day (which I did, above) and this is what I found.

    I’m so honored (and blushing).


  2. Well, if you write good and insightful things where I will see them, there’s a chance I’ll blog about it. So please, blush away!

    Now, I’m going to make you blush a bit more. If I remember rightly I saw your comment just before I left for church one Sunday morning. What you said abut OCD stuck in my brain, and it somehow seemed to find its way into my sermon, which happened to be about sin management.

    Don’t blush too much though—there were about twenty people at church that morning. Half of them were out the back in Kids’ Church and everyone else was asleep. I’ll put it into my notes, and it might come out at my next church…

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