I still remember the spot where I was standing when a dear brother called me to inform me that he impregnated a young lady. I froze. He said, “I am sorry. I have disappointed everybody”. My response to him was simple, “I love you brother. You will come out stronger”. He wondered why I responded that way. I told him I could have been the one in his shoes.

Years later, I saw some young ones who fell into sin, despise church and walk away because of how they were treated. When I became a pastor, we had a simple rule- love the sinner, hate the sin. It helped us make decisions in such interesting times.

The self-righteous syndrome is a terrible one. People who have committed sins sit in council over those who have been caught in sin. They pass judgment like they do not have struggles of their own. Only those who have encountered mercy can really know the weight of showing mercy.

Judah was caught in the self-righteous trap. He was the judge when the information that Tamar was pregnant broke out:

About three months later, Judah was told, “Tamar, your daughter-in-law, has acted like a prostitute. And now, because of this, she’s pregnant.” “Bring her out and let her be burned!” Judah demanded.

Genesis 38:24 NLT

Can you imagine the judgment? I wonder how many act like that today. He who has no sin should cast stones. We can correct in love, but we must not sit as though we are infallible. When we think of our limitations too, we apply mercy.

Thank God she had evidence. She brought out the joker:

But as they were taking her out to kill her, she sent this message to her father-in-law: “The man who owns these things made me pregnant. Look closely. Whose seal and cord and walking stick are these?”

Genesis 38:25 NLT

That was what weakened the self-righteous judge. He knew instantly that he was already caught in a trap. He backed down immediately.

Judah recognized them immediately and said, “She is more righteous than I am, because I didn’t arrange for her to marry my son Shelah.” And Judah never slept with Tamar again.

Genesis 38:26 NLT

Do not be caught in the trap of self-righteousness. Do not throw stones. Treat the fallen like you would love to be treated if you were in their shoes.

However, do not use the fact that men are infallible as an excuse to stay in sin. That would be foolishness.


© temilOluwa Ola, Eruwa

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