Approving Of People When You Don't Condone Their Behavior

by csnyder 19. April 2011 03:21

A friend of mine was sharing with me some things about himself that he thought would keep God from Loving Him.  He felt unloved, but desired to be loved more than anything else.  He thought God was like Christians he knew.  He thought God loved based on behavior.

God loves based on His nature.  Receiving and believing in the love that God has for you leads to repentance in the life of the believer which does lead to behavioral changes.  But understand this, God loves people even if their behavior never changes because His love is not based on what man does.

Sometimes people might ask God, what do you want from me.  He would answer, When did I ever ask anything from you.  My friend told me that when He asked that question of God, God answered in his heart, "I just want to pour my love into your heart."

God is not asking you to accept peoples behavior, He is asking you to love them.  Not condoning their behavior, but not condemning them either.  In the story in John 4 of the woman at the well, Jesus went straight to the woman and met her thirst.  He was not approving the womans behavior but He was approving the woman.  He loved her, He died to give her His life.  It was not about what she did, it was about what He was going to do on the cross.  The cross is eternal, it applies to people  on both sides of the cross.

Many times the world gives more approval and acceptance of people than Christians.  How sad!  In John 4:21 Jesus said to the woman, "Woman, believe Me."  Believe Him for what?  John 4:26 Jesus said, "I who speak to you am He." Jesus is saying that He is I AM.  She did believe and she went back into the town and said, "Come, see a man who told me all the things I have done;  this is not the Christ is it?"

Not only did she believe, but also many others from the city.  The men that came out to Jesus said to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world."

This started with the woman receiving from Jesus what she desired more than anything and that was unconditional love.  There is no defense for love.  I am not asking for us to love anybody, I am only saying we need to just let the love of Christ flow through us. Jesus said, "But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life."  The living water will flow out of us onto everyone in our path and will quinch the thirst of all those who drink of this water and they in turn will become wells of living water springing up.

All this started with Jesus not condeming a woman, or did it start even earlier when John 4 said, He had to pass through Samaria.  Jesus is soveriegn and it is no accident that Jesus met this woman at the right time at the right place.  Jesus has not changed.  He still is meeting people where ever they are and He will do it through us.  Unreal.


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About the author

Craig Snyder has been married to Jonni Gooden Snyder for 37 years.  He has three grown sons and one grown daughter.  He has eight grandchildren.

Craig has been in full time ministry since 1974, having been on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and has pastored for over 25 years.

Craig has ministered  with Grace Walk Ministries since 2001 and serves as Director of Missions and also pastors a home church.  He travels extensively in Latin America, and the U.S. and Canada sharing the Grace Walk of our Lord Jesus Christ.