One conversation and a game of basketball keep replaying in my mind. The conversation went like this.
“You know what businessmen are like when they travel to those kind of hotels.”
“What kind of hotels?”
“Any hotel that caters to businessmen.”
“Yes, I know those kind of hotels. What are they like?”
“Oh, every man is having sex with anyone who is willing.”
“Really? I have been traveling for twenty two years, married for all of them, and I have never been unfaithful.”
“Well, I guess there is one husband who is faithful.”
I am confident that there is more than one.
The basketball sequence was just as haunting. Player A fakes left and starts of move to the right. Player B anticipates the move, reaches in cleanly, and steels the ball. Player B does a full loop around Player A and begins a drive towards the basket. Player A is totally faked and as Player B wheels past in full motion, turns and kicks the right leg completely out and away from Player A. Player A splats on the brick driveway; Player B begins a protest of innocence.
One conversation reflects our commentary on contemporary society; the other reflects our frustration when things do not go our way. Both indicate behavior that is almost beyond comment. Solomon did say something about it. “Adultery is a brainless act, soul-destroying, self-destructive; expect a bloody nose, a black eye, and a reputation ruined for good.” (Proverbs 6.32,33)
What do you say to someone who is intent on destroying their life and those who are involved in relationships with him or her? In my experience, the clich?s do not work and rarely satisfy anyone involved. The best answer is found in God’s model.
Hate the sin but not the sinner. You are never required to accept or condone intentional destruction.
Unconditionally accept the sinner, as and where they are.
Give the sinner the same thing that God gives you: mercy, love, and forgiveness.
With compassion, nurture everyone involved in his/her journey with God.
Love God fully and deeply.