Your sins are forgiven?

Your sins are forgiven?

Probably not what his friends were hoping to hear, but Jesus told the man exactly what he needed to hear.
In a Christian world that rightly teaches love, tolerance, and acceptance for all,  there are still times in which we must go to the actual source of a person’s dilemma.  We must love them enough to deal with their sin.


One Sunday, after I was through teaching, a member came up to me and asked me to pray for her health. The details are not important.  Immediately I received a “revelation” from God that I was to tell her to change her diet. If you find the term “revelation from God” troubling, please substitute with “felt highly impressed.”

The Lord wanted me to tell this wonderful women that her eating habits were causing her health issues? She came to me for spiritual guidance – expecting something supernatural and I was going to offer he nutritional advice? And…well…she was a “she.”  Its one thing to tell a dude to lay-off the sweets, but it’s a totally different dynamic to have that conversation with a woman.

She came back to me weeks later and confessed that she found my words to be painful.  She told me that I angered her, and she went so far as to question her continued attendance.  She wondered I could have been so insensitive, and offensive. Fortunately her doctor cared enough about her to confirm that I was right.  He added that she should be grateful that I cared enough about her to tell her what she needed to hear.  She wanted me to “lay hands on her” and agree with her that The Lord would lower her cholesterol and her blood pressure.  God’s answer for her was yes but the method was not going to be miraculous rather practical. She needed to stop overeating and make a lifestyle change in her diet if she wanted to be well.


The story  (Mark 2:1-12) is about a group of friends who went to great lengths to take their parlayed friend to Jesus.  The account tells us that these friends were people of faith.  Surely they thought that their paralyzed friend would be healed if they could get him to Jesus.  They did – he was.
I don’t now the correlation between this man’s sin and his paralytic condition.  I know that everything from poor eating habits to bitterness can cause all sorts of emotional and physical problems. The point is that Jesus healed the man by dealing with the root cause of the man’s issue. And Jesus did so in front of a packed house.

In modern church we would take the man to lunch.  After all, we wouldn’t want to offend him. He must know how much we care before he cares what we know…right?  For the most part…yes.  We might coddle him for a while and would certainly take the time hear his story.  We would pray for him and invite him to be a part of a small group, (life group, connect group, etc.).  We would do all of these things because God’s love for the man.  I say amen.  But there are times to be bold and, as led by His Spirit, to address sin.  I think we are missing some opportunities to help people in the name of modern Christianity.

To focus only on the sin  is to be religious and self righteous. But to ignore sin is to overlook what might be the very source of the problem. We know that this man’s sin affected his physical wellbeing. To ignore sin is to do an injustice to an individual. It takes equal parts of grace and truth to embody who Christ is.  Be gracious, but deal with sin. Remember he was Jesus. You may want to worry about your sin first (Matthew 7:5), and truth should always be spoken in love (Ephesians 4:14, 1Corinthians 13:1-3).

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