Have Christians Blurred the Line Between Condoning Sin and Showing Compassion?

Have Christians blurred the line between condoning sin and showing compassion? While many people see this as a thin line, it really isn’t. Condoning sin and showing compassion are two radically different things. Sadly, many Christians and churches as an entire unit have blurred these and made them synonymous. Even though many individuals and church organizations have done this, it is not right.

Condoning sin means you are accepting the sin. However, showing compassion is showing genuine concern, care, and love for someone else. As we can see, these are two polar opposite things. Nowhere within the realm of compassion are we supposed to accept or encourage sin. Compassion and condoning sin are not synonymous with each other. Rather than blurring the lines between condoning sin and showing compassion, we need to take a biblical approach to all issues.

As in the case of many unethical sins, such as homosexuality and abortion, we can show compassion to those who have struggled and engaged in these sins, yet we should never condone their sin. Regardless of the type of sin, we should never approve of it. We should show compassion, love, and support to all people despite their sin, yet never are we to gloss over the sinful behavior. In our interactions with each other, we need to follow the example of Jesus Christ. Jesus loves people, yet He does not approve of their sins.

In the same way, the Lord is compassionate to us while never condoning our sins. Since this is what the Lord does, we should follow His example and likewise extend compassion, but not condone sin. Whether in the lives of others or our own lives, we shouldn’t accept sin. It can be easy to rationalize our own sin and the sin of others—but this is wrong and does not bring glory to God. We need to recognize our sin for what it is and make the choice to turn away from it. Through repentance, we are led back to God and do our best to cease engaging in the sin.

Instead of living a life of sin, we want to live a life in service to God. When we live for God, we bring Him the most glory and praise. If we choose to blur the lines between condoning sin and showing compassion, we are blurring the lines of what is right and what is wrong. Are we to show compassion? Absolutely. Are we supposed to condone sin? Absolutely not. Rather than blurring the lines between these two things, we need to follow Jesus’ example. We should show compassion to all people regardless of their sin, yet we don’t need to act as though their sin is not a big deal or doesn’t have eternal consequences.

If we condone sin, especially sin of those who don’t know Jesus, we are giving the false notion that what they are doing is okay. While we shouldn’t be aggressive or hostile when we are addressing sin, we should make sure the person knows it is wrong. It is possible to show compassion while simultaneously addressing the person’s sin. In fact, it might help the person be more prone to turn away from the sin if you talk with them in gentle words and extend compassion. If you choose to be angry and upset, it could cause them to respond in the same way.


Breaking the Line

To help others best, we need to distinguish the solid line between condoning sin and showing compassion. It is easier to do both of these things combined instead of doing what God wants us to do. Sadly, it is more common for us to show compassion but fail to show and tell the person their sin is wrong. Especially regarding homosexuality. Many Christians have accepted various sins because they are socially acceptable, such as homosexuality.

This is a sad reality, yet it could be because these individuals are not aware of the line between condoning sin and showing compassion. If you are having a difficult time seeing the line between these two things, ask God to help you. Ask Him to help you not blur these lines and to see things as He sees them. Engage in the Bible and devote yourself to reading the Bible each day. Through prayer and Bible reading time, God will help you see the line between condoning sin and showing compassion. There is a thick line between these two things, and God wants you to be aware of the difference.

As Christians, we don’t need to compromise to be seen as socially or politically correct. At the end of all things, what matters is what God says. We have to choose whether we will stand with Him or with the world. Each time we condone sin or encourage others to participate in sin, we are hurting God. Never should we accept, condone, or encourage sinful behavior. In everything we do, we need to treat those engaging in a sinful lifestyle the way we want to be treated. This means if we were struggling with a sin and it was very apparent in our lives, we would want someone to call us out on it so we could take steps away from the sin. 

Part of loving people and showing compassion is to condemn sin. While we shouldn’t be mean or hateful to others, we do need to tell them when something is going wrong. As Christians, it is our responsibility to help our fellow brothers and sisters in their walk with God, just as it is their responsibility to help us in our own walk. If we see a brother or a sister commit a sin and it is ongoing, we need to talk with them about it. We don’t need to condone it, nor do we need to ignore it. If we ignore it, it will only become worse with time. 

Unfortunately, many Christians have blurred the line between condoning sin and showing compassion. Despite this being true for the modern day, we don’t have to allow it to persist. We must distinguish the line between condoning sin and showing compassion because these are two different things. We are not truly being compassionate and caring if we condone sin because sin causes a person to be further away from God. If we are being compassionate, caring, and loving, we are pointing out their sin, praying for them, and taking any tangible steps to help them in their struggle. 

Therefore, it is time for the church to see the difference and make the proper changes to bring true glory to God. The Lord doesn’t want us to coddle sin, nor does He want us to encourage it. Jesus died on the cross for our sins. We shouldn’t want to continue in our destructive habits and behaviors. Since the Lord died for our sins, we should do our best to not sin and follow Jesus as best as we can. While no one is perfect, we can take steps each day to follow Jesus and help others do the same. 

Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/John Fornander


Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.

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