When people spend time with you, do they see Jesus in you and desire to follow Him more?
Zacchaeus, that wee little man, who climbed the Sycamore tree and invited Jesus to dine with him, was well known for his sins (Luke 19:7).
But after spending time with Jesus, he repented of his sins and sought to right his wrongs with others (Luke 19:8).
Friends, yes, we are to hang out with sinners! (When I say “sinners” here—
I know we all sin, but I’m talking about those who, as a lifestyle or practice, “walk in sin” and may be lost, versus those who are saved and occasionally “step in sin”)
The point is —When we are with those caught up in sin, they should see love AND truth in our lives that draws them to Jesus and away from their sins.
AND -If all we ever do is hang out and love those in sin, but never prayerfully speak the truth to them (in love, of course) then we haven’t fully loved them.
Honestly, I have to wonder if we truly love them at all if we’ve just hung out with them and remained silent while sin was hurting them.
Our heart for the lost sinner should be that they be saved!
Our heart for believing friends, tangled up in sin, is that they should be freed.
Yes love them. Yes pray for them. But also pray for God to give you the words and courage to talk with them. Because part of loving others is speaking truth about sin as God, in His Word, not our culture, defines sin.
And (side note here) part of others loving us is allowing them to speak truth to us about the sin they see in our lives without us getting our feathers ruffled. 😉
So, yes, love those caught up in sin; but be a truth speaker and hang out with some truth speakers yourself.
It’s love AND truth!
It’s truth AND love!