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About Other People’s Sins

Everyone needs to know how to deal with other people’s sins. Daily we are affected by them and they cause us many a crisis and much misery. We are never free from the wrongs caused by others, and they are never free from the wrongs caused by us.

Sometimes the sins of others touch us directly. A business partner turns out to be dishonest; your husband is unfaithful; a member of your family becomes an alcoholic. A sister marries a rascal or a neighbor mistreats your child. Sometimes the sins of others touch us indirectly as they affect those we love and for whom we feel responsible. 

What shall we do about other people’s sins? What attitude should we take? There are three alternatives.

First, we can ignore them. We can close our eyes to their wrong and pretend it did not happen. We may choose to just endure the wrong. Concerning a wrong we have suffered we often say, “Forget it” when what we really mean is that we will forget the wrongdoer. This is not the way to treat other people’s sins. 

Second, we can abhor them. We can detest and despise them. This is the most common reaction. First we feel anger and contempt for them. Then we tell someone else about them. With each new telling, their sins get worse and worse. Clearly, this is not the way to treat other people’s sins.

Finally, we can restore them. This is the Christian way. This is what it means to forgive. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting a wrong. This we cannot do. It means restoring the broken bonds. It means not letting the wrong interfere with your relationship.

The best of people slip occasionally. The road of life is covered with banana peelings. When someone does fall, help him up and don’t hold it against him. After all, that’s the way God treats us. What right have we to refuse to others what we expect for ourselves?

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Paul W. Powell - www.PaulPowellLibrary.com

Today's Devotional

Senseless Tragedies

Once we buried a young lady who was only 21 years old. She was killed in a head-on collision while on her way to church. The night before the funeral, my daughter asked why God allows things like this to happen.

I wish I knew. Things like this have puzzled saints, wise men, and philosophers since the world began.

There is simply no one easy answer as to why tragedies like this happen. The answer may lie in the fact that God made us free. He created us with the ability to make our own choices, and choices always involve consequences. If we are careless or foolish in our choices, or if others are, we may suffer because of them. If God did not allow us freedom, we’d be less than people. We’d be robots.

This may be the only explanation we will ever have for some suffering. However, we do not have to know why things happen in order to be victorious over them. On the cross Jesus cried out “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) But the heavens were as brass. God was silent. He didn’t even answer his own Son. Jesus might have despaired and become bitter against God. But instead he said, “Father, into thy hands I commend [entrust, hand over] my spirit” (Luke 23:46).

This kind of faith is far more important than any answer we might receive. In our lives, as in the life of Jesus, it is faith that makes the difference between victory and defeat.

So keep believing in God no matter what. Commit your life to him and regardless of what happens, God will help you.

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