All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” -Luke 19:7-10
In Jesus' own words, he came to "to seek and to save the lost." Words uttered in reference to a man who was viewed as a sinner. A man who was a tax collector, a group of people who were perceived as thrives who sided with their oppressors. A man who had no approval, acceptance, or validation from his fellow Hebrews.
Over two-thousand years later, what has changed? While there are a few exceptions, but for the most part most are uncomfortable with seeking and saving the lost as Christ did. We will condemn, criticize, and judge them in a futile attempt to save them. But we will not seek them and get personally invested in order to save the lost. Yet, somehow we rationalize such unloving actions despite it being doctrinally unsound.
If you really want to abuse those you find unworthy, there are other religions that make allowances for that, however, Christianity is not one of them. Not that we need any religion to lead us down the path of human nature's tendency to exclude and hate. So for that reason alone I must dismiss any belief that condones humankind's self-destructive sinful nature, including the shaming of the lost. Such practices cannot be divinely inspired. How can what's considered a symptom of narcissism ever be considered holy after all. No, it's far more likely that the practice originates in the wicked hearts of mankind.
Yes indeed it's in our nature to seek approval, acceptance, and validation from our peers. Yet it's not in our nature to offer it to just anybody. So if we really want to follow the path of the righteous, then one must defy that nature. Not just because we must seek the lost people who make us uncomfortable, but also because our peers will likely judge us for it. Just as Jesus' own people did with him.
I have stated it all very bluntly. If you find yourself convicted by this, I challenge you to ask God to examine your heart, so you will better understand your own failures so that you might be able to repent in a deep and significant way, and not merely in a surface superficial way.
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