Removing the Sin From the Sinner

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How do we condemn the sin, while the sinner gets away scot-free? Is it even possible to remove the sin from the sinner? You do the math…


Let’s consider the equation, not to be confused with sine the trigonometric of an angle, but the sin perpetrated by man. When judging a sinner do you judge their action or the human behind the behavior? If we remove the sin from the perpetrator we are left with a flawed human. Man.

Sin is such an egregious act. Is it really possible to separate the sin from the sinner? Or do we allow it permanently stain the human who perpetrated the sin? And who gets to decide the fate of the sinner?

These are all difficult questions we wrestle with when we witness a sinful act. There is a solution… You can remove yourself from casting judgement on the sinner, but not ignore the sin. The sin should be recognized by the sinner. I do think the sinner should be held accountable for the sin they have committed. However, I am not to decide their punishment. God will determine their fate.

Who decides which sinner gets their sin removed?

As humans aren’t we all sinners? Who lives a perfect existence? Why do you get to decide another person’s sin is worst than your own?

A sin isn’t a problem between you and me. It’s a problem we need to take up with God. God is the idea of perfection and it is His standards to abide by. God doesn’t condemn the person. He loves the person. When we accept Jesus and build a relationship with God our sin comes to life. We accept our sin and reconcile our sinful behavior with God through Jesus. Then we lift our sin up to God and only He can remove it.

Those who post on social media and the mainstream media have a way of spinning the sin to cast an ugly stain on the sinner. Why is it that so many people want to judge the sinner, even when the sin hasn’t been perpetrated against them? The impact of the judgement cast upon the sinner can be detrimental or beneficial depending on their spiritual condition.

The following two stories have impacted my community over the last twenty years. Each a heinous act was committed. And the people in the community reacted differently according to their spiritual foundations.

Nickel Mines Amish School Shooting

In 2006, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania was devastated by an act of violence committed by one community member against a group of school children. One lone truck driver entered an Amish school house and took the lives of the young girls before taking his own life. A community was stricken with grief and a family vilified.

But the Amish, whose culture is founded in Christianity, embraced the family. Unlike the secular society who cast judgement, they invited the family to heal with them. They offered forgiveness to the sinner. They sought out a peaceful resolution.

Warwick School District Accident

This story hit close to home for my family and the others in our small town of Lititz, Pennsylvania. On a fall afternoon, while high school students were dismissed, an erratic driver was heading towards Warwick High School. A woman struck and killed two students, while injuring another young man. The brunt of the impact reverberated throughout our community.

There were those on social media, not directly impacted, on a witch hunt to condemn the woman who took the students lives. They were to be the judge and jury making their personal feelings heard. And, then you had a mother, in the midst of grieving for her own son, offer compassion to the perpetrator.

My husband and I attended the funeral of Jack Nicholson with our daughter. We were there for our daughter, while she mourned the death of Jack and the other students impacted by the accident. Her childhood best friend was the girlfriend of the boy who was killed. The church auditorium was filled with families in mourning.

Donna Nicholson-Stiefe, the mother of Jack, took a tragedy and demonstrated compassion. Instead of condemning Debra Slaymaker, the perpetrator, Jack’s parents chose to pray for her. Donna was not the only mother grieving. Debra and her family also were hurting. While some on social media lambasted the woman and her family, others offered grace.

The judgement I received from others stemming from my personal sin has impacted me positively. After I felt their wrath, I internalized my behavior and then sought redemption. It wasn’t for someone else to judge my behavior on social media, but I took it to heart. The gossip that circulated affected my pride and it was enough for me to make a conscious decision to seek change.

Today I choose to spend time with others in recovery from their past. I do not judge them. Their sins are no different than mine in the eyes of God. We don’t know the heart of the sinner, but God knows our hearts. Through our relationship with Christ we will be given a new heart, cleansed white as snow.

“The LORD says, ‘Now, let’s settle the matter. You are stained red with sin, but I will wash you as clean as snow. Although your stains are deep red, you will be as white as wool.’”

Isaiah 1:18 GNT

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