Posted by: Rex Boyles | March 13, 2008

“Sometimes I wonder …”

I sat with a friend. (Won’t say who, when, or where.)

He is grieving over sin and the consequences of sin … not of his own but of a friend – a co-worker. He hates what his brother did – but he also hates the heartache and loneliness that led this good man to be tempted. He hates the sin – but he also hates the shame that his brother now feels – the anguish and despair that now keep him awake at night. He hates the damage that this sin has done to his brother’s reputation … but he also hates the damage that it has done to those served by his brother.

He knows I understand …

We talked some … sighed some … sat silent for spells, searching for what to say – wondering what to do.

Hoping that his brother had been treated in the way Jesus treated sinners with broken and contrite hearts, I asked, “What did the elders say?”

He looked down … took a deep breath … shook his head, “Sometimes I wonder … how we can be so strong in our convictions about church doctrines but not understand the need to show the love and forgiveness of Jesus to sinners.”

He went on to explain that the brother had confessed his sin and asked the elders to pray for him. He said that the elders prayed for the brother – hugged him – reassuring him that God had forgiven him. After the brother left, one of the elders commented, “That is just too easy. There have to be more consequences for that kind of sin.”

I don’t know the brother – don’t know the elder – don’t know all of the details or the outcome of these comments …

but I know Jesus.

I know how Jesus treated a sinful woman, weeping at His feet … a thieving tax-collector, watching from a tree … a thirsty woman, visiting at the well … a guilty woman, standing condemned … a begging thief, hanging on the next cross … a broken disciple, walking on the beach.

Sometimes I wonder …

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