My first thought was to be repulsed, and angry to think that he would inflict so much pain on his family. But all of a sudden my anger changed to pity. It is so sad to see people suffering needlessly. I say “needlessly” because sin brings suffering and Christ has made provision for our sins. No one has to remain a captive to sin–that is a choice they make. And it is sad that they would reject what Christ offers, choosing sin instead. That is the case with this man. Although he was miserable and and others were being hurt it is a path that he chose.
While his sin is indeed repulsive, should we not be heart broken to see someone in such a pitiful condition? Some might say, “Well it’s all his fault. He has no one to blame but himself, etc” While that might be true does it make his condition any less pitiful? Does that mean I shouldn’t care? That’s like saying, “Those in hell deserve what they get so I don’t care”. Indeed they do, but does it not bother you that they are in hell or that others are going there? The fact of the matter is that we all deserve to go to hell. Don’t think for a moment that you deserve anything better. It is only by the grace of God that you can escape. And if their plight grieves God it should trouble us.
What is it–are we afraid that we’ll be viewed as condoning their sin if we treat such people nice? Are we to suppose that being right gives us the right to be rude? The only hope for people like that, or for any of us, is Christ. And the only hope of us reaching them for Christ is for them to see something of Christ in us. Since “the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance” (Rom. 2:4) we should display goodness toward others. It’s true that we ought to hate their sin, but it’s also true that we should love the sinner. Christ loved them so much that He died for them, the same as for us. Let us live then in such a way that they cannot deny our love for them.
They might not be so kind in return, but that is no excuse for our bad behavior. They will call you names, try to defend their position, say you are unloving, and try to provoke you. Don’t play into their hand. Be silent or walk away if you must, but don’t stoop to their level. If you are indeed unloving then you have a problem as surely as they do. You can’t do anything thing about theirs, but you can repent of yours–please do. Your example might be the only thing that helps them see the error of their ways. Think about it!