Do you know someone who sees nothing wrong with having premarital sexual relationships? How about a person addicted to pornography and masturbation? Or a friend who actively pursues their attraction to the same sex?
How are you responding to them?
Are you trying to navigate between showing them love and being afraid it might give them the impression you’re endorsing their behaviour? Or sharing the truth of God’s standards and being concerned it might be perceived as unloving and hateful, causing them to turn away from God?
One way of knowing whether we have a biblical lens is to ask ourselves, “Do I see as God sees?”
Our worldview forms our values, which is then seen in our behaviour. Jesus had a fully untainted biblical worldview, exemplified in the way He said and did only what He heard and saw His Father say and do (John 5:19; John 12:49).
In the same way, only when we see as God sees, can we do as God does.
SEE AS GOD SEES – AND BE HUMBLE
Ever wondered how Jesus sees those who are sinful and broken?
Paul says that all of us “have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” and we are only “justified by God’s grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith” (Romans 3:23–25).
So the question really is, “How does Jesus see us, who are also sinful and broken?” Knowing that we were once God’s enemies (Romans 5:10) but are now saved only by God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8) is a sobering and humbling place to start if we want to reach out to others in both love and truth.
This prevents us from thinking we are better than others in their sin. For unless God has drawn us and unless He draws us daily, we cannot and will not go to Him.
Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6:44). Therefore, there are no grounds for us to be judgemental or contemptuous of anyone struggling with sexual sin because like them, we need God’s grace and mercy desperately.
Similar to those who wrestle with sexual brokenness, we, too, grapple daily with the choice of giving in to the flesh or submitting to the Holy Spirit.
This also reminds us that by ourselves, with sin dwelling in our flesh, we are not capable of doing good (Romans 7:15–23). It is only in abiding in Jesus that we can bear good fruit; apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:1–11).
We don’t have to be stuck in a sexual sin to know that “the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do” (Galatians 5:17).
Similar to those who wrestle with sexual brokenness, we, too, grapple daily with the choice of giving in to the flesh or submitting to the Holy Spirit. Realising this keeps us humble and able to empathise with people who are suffering – whether they are aware of it or not – from the inward battle with their sexual sin.
For a person who is struggling, knowing that someone understands how deep and lonely their struggle is can be a very healing thing.
DO AS GOD DOES – IN JUSTICE AND MERCY
Other than offering the valuable gift of empathy, we have to also commit to walking in personal holiness.
When we walk by the Spirit, so as not to gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16), we go beyond making speeches but powerfully show with our lives that “the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:8).
We attract people to God and His life-giving ways by the beauty of our obedience to Him. If we do not walk the talk, our hypocrisy will push people away from God and His ways.
When we submit all aspects of our life, including our sexual desires, to God’s will, we are better able to journey with someone struggling with sexual sin in the way Jesus would, showing love in truth and telling the truth in love.
We attract people to God and His life-giving ways by the beauty of our obedience to Him.
With the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:1–26), Jesus lovingly addressed her real needs and truthfully pointed out to her the sinful ways she used to try to meet those needs.
In so doing, He called her away from a sinful life by offering her “a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14) that quenches her inner thirst once and for all.
When He encountered the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1–11), He brought to light the hypocritical condemnation of the people who wanted her stoned and showed the woman mercy by forgiving her of her sins. Then He called the woman to a life of repentance, telling her, “Go, and from now on sin no more” (John 8:11).
From Jesus’ life, we learn that we do not tell people the whole truth if we do not speak the truth in love. And we do not love people fully if we do not love them according to the truth.
TRUTH, GRACE AND HUMILITY
Jesus is the complete expression and revelation of the Father, “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Since we’re called to “walk in the same way in which He walked” (1 John 2:6), that means we are to be like Him in that regard.
When we see as God sees, it would lead us to do as He does in reaching out to the sexually broken in grace and in truth, with humility of heart:
“The Lord has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
This article was first published on Whole Life and was republished with permission.