Thursday, December 22, 2011

Helping Those Who Sin

People don’t care if someone is good or not, as long as they are nice. That is part of the reason why people change their attitude about sin, like adultery or homosexuality, when it involves a person who is part of the family. When we think of an adulterer as a bad person, it is easy to see it as wrong, but when someone we know and like is involved in adultery, we want to dismiss it rather than think of them as bad people. The same is true of homosexuality. As long as it only involves people who hang out at gay bars, or Catholic priests who are a little too familiar with the boys, it is easy to think of homosexuality as bad, but when it involves a family member or a friend, it looks very different.
The real problem is that we have the wrong idea about sin. Think of Jesus and the woman at the well. She was an outcast because of her sin. She had had many men and she had likely taken some of those away from their wives. She wasn’t a good person. I don’t know if she was a nice person or not, but Jesus didn’t treat her differently because of what she did or how she acted. Rather, he treated her like a person who needed help. Sure, she had caused her own problem, but she still needed help.
Sin is a bad thing, no matter who is involved or how nice a person happens to be. Our desire to help someone should not be influenced by whether we think they deserve it or not. Sure, we naturally want to help a child whose father drinks too much, but what about the father? He is as much a victim of his choices as the child is.