“Fear Sin!” said Jesus, never.
Christians can have an unhealthy tendency to cut people off in their lives who aren’t living right with God. There’s this unspoken fear that bad company corrupts good character. Actually I just quoted Scripture, but it’s important to remember that throughout the Bible, love is notorious for making exceptions—we just need to ask whether our relationships with others are motivated out of need, or love.
While the Bible teaches us to run from sin, the parallel pursuit of holiness must be grounded in our love for God instead of our fear of failure. In love, there is plenty of room to walk in faith as those who live by the Spirit and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. Again, I’m quoting Paul.
I understand that people are afraid of compromising their walk with the Lord, but when your own personal spirituality is prioritized at the cost of others, it inherently becomes a self-centered focus. I would dare to say that in this scenario, whatever you’re growing in, it’s not God. In contrast, the heart postured in love is always in pursuit of the prodigals. Remember, Paul is the same guy that said he would gladly go to hell if it meant his Jewish brothers could taste of the Lord’s salvation.
We are never called to condone sin, simply for the fact that sin inevitably destroys those that we love. However, we cannot exercise our God-given authority as ministers of reconciliation if we believe we are called to remove our witness from the lives of those who have missed the mark. Reconciliation never comes through isolation—that is the devil’s domain where fear, shame, and despair fester in the darkness. As Christ’s representatives we are called to provide a light in the darkness and a path to the Father. We are meant to open doors, not leave them shut.
So are we to fear sin? Absolutely not. We should be much more concerned about the souls hidden in the dark should we selfishly choose to withhold our light. We must ask ourselves when we will we start believing that our freedom is greater than their bondage. “Whom the Son sets free is free indeed!” Now that was Jesus.