Sin; A violation of God’s will or religious law. A misdeed. An embodiment of sin; a very wicked person. From the aforementioned definitions, we would fall into one or two categories at most while we journey through the face of the earth. Remember for all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God, therefore, we are all sinners. So who then would be a sinner’s friend or should he/she even have one? But first, let’s chew on who a friend ought to be before we go any further.
A person who has a strong liking for and trust in another person or mutual affection between people, it’s a stronger form of interpersonal bond. A friend is someone you love and who loves you, someone you respect and who respects you, someone whom you trust and who trusts you. A friend is honest and makes you want to be honest, too. A friend is loyal. Someone who doesn’t have to talk to communicate with you. A friend is someone who would sacrifice their life and happiness for you. A friend is someone for whom you’re willing to change your opinions. A friend is someone you look forward to seeing and who looks forward to seeing you. A friend is someone you like so much, you start to like the things they like. A friend is a partner, not a leader or a follower.
The above is a cocktail of Merriam Webster and Urban Dictionary defining who a friend is. So ask yourself, do you have a real and true friend? Alan Jackson said it all in his hymn “What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear.” Look no further, behold the One True Sinner’s Friend who emphatically said He came for the lost. What a friend we have in Jesus. A friend who sat by with an outcast, the Samaritan woman, and had deep conversations that the woman discovered Jesus knew all about her private life of having had five husbands yet, He enjoyed her company engaging her till she was won over and she became an ambassador for Christ to the entire Samaria.
Even when Scribes and Pharisees tried to play smart with bringing just the adulterous woman and leaving out the man, His response was emphatic on how we choose to judge others when we decide to close to the door to compassion and forgiveness. When we do this, we act as ones who have never sinned. Judgment is meted out by God as He pleases, our duty is to continually show compassion and forgiveness. For if truly anyone was standing that was without sin, the stone would’ve been hauled at her. As sinner’s friend, Jesus asked afterward “woman, where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you?” she said, “no one, Lord.” He replied “neither do I condemn you, go and from now on sin no more. “ Jesus’s epic response is the expected global standard we are to all imbibe – to love the sinner but condemn the sin.
Reclining in Matthew’s house dining with tax collectors and sinners, the Pharisees were at it again asking why Jesus was eating with such lowlifes. And as a true sinner’s friend, He gave it to them in the required measure to douse their folly. “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.” The Pharisees being so concerned about outward appearance and respectability rather than practical help. God’s concern is for all the people He created both the righteous, sinful, and hurting. To be like Jesus is to witness not only to the powerful, popular, rich, and moral but mostly to the outcast, lonely, poor, and immoral.
A sinner’s friend, not an easy role to assume in a very competitive, judgemental, and deceitful world. But if we are to be Christ-like, the expected standard is to be non-judgmental, loving, and embracing of all who come our way, be them well or unwell. The soothing ambiance of being vulnerable to someone who wouldn’t count it against them is what changes people more. Life’s journey and the myriads of challenges we face need a true friend who doesn’t have to talk to communicate with you. Someone honest enough to tell you the truth most lovingly and maturely that you see the balance in the things of life. Someone who would be by your side through the days of pain and the days of gain. That where you hold so much guilt and condemnation over yourself, all you get to hear and receive from this friend of yours is “There is therefore now, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Are you a sinner’s friend? Or you are quick to ostracize and disown?