Compassion instead of condemnation

By Dave Henning / April 22, 2022

“If [the woman caught in adultery] was defined by her sin, it would make sin the ultimate power and authority.  But God is the ultimate power and authority, and she was defined by his love.  All of that became a reality to her because Jesus showed her compassion instead of condemnation.”- Kyle Idleman

As Kyle Idleman moves on in Chapter 6 of One At a Time, he raises two questions about condemning people one at a time.

Question 1: Has condemning a person ever changed that person?  This, Kyle notes, is a significant question.  Because, Kyle quips, no one’s ever met a person who said: “Well, I was always this certain way, but then I met this hate-filled person who made me feel condemned, and that’s when my whole life changed!”

Question 2: Has feeling condemned ever help you to change?  When someone condemns you, Pastor Idleman asks, has that ever led you to transformation?  Most likely not, because it doesn’t work that way.  Hence, Kyle cites Romans 2:4 (NIV) — “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tenderness, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?”

Therefore, Kyle counsels, angrily pointing out a person’s sins fails as a method to lead them out of those sins.  Loathing never leads to life change.  And the religious leaders who condemned the woman caught in adultery thought that her sin defined her.  As a result, they believed that the woman was her own worst mistake.

However, Kyle underscores, with Jesus every story of destruction comes with a change for celebration.  In addition, one primary way Jesus loves us one person at a time involves forgiving us when we don’t deserve it.  Consequently, the author notes, Jesus demonstrated compassion when He faced a sinner, blasphemer, betrayer, accuser, or denier.  So, Pastor Idleman asks, is that how you love?

Today’s question: What most helps you show compassion instead of condemnation?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The worst pleasures – purely spiritual”

About the author

Dave Henning

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