Whatever You Do, Do It With All Your Heart

I had to go to the bathroom all afternoon but I waited because I’m a mom and we never go potty on time, and also because I was replying to comments from yesterday’s post.

But at the 3rd comment – the third – justifying the continued use of the phrase “love the sinner, hate the sin” because of child abuse and human trafficking and child porn, my brain popped. My jaw was on the floor. Because do we really think that clinging to phrases like “love the sinner, hate the sin” helps combat trafficking? And abuse? And porn? Are we making that argument now? That slinging “love the sinner, hate the sin” is going to protect the defenseless and champion the marginalized and bring justice and mercy to people crying out in pain? Seriously?

I worked myself up into quite the angry tizzy fit, friends.

It was spectacular!

Why? Why? WHY? I kept saying in my mind. And I had a thousand thousand responses to make, all of which were brilliant and made important points and were pithy, and, OK, maybe the tiniest bit pissy and not very Love People Different Than Me, but GAH! I’M RIGHT and THEY’RE WRONG! And RED HERRINGS! And I WAS TALKING ABOUT BEING ON CULTURAL SIN WATCH, NOT INSTITUTIONALIZED EVIL!

Which is when I sneezed and wet my pants.

Colossians 3:23 says “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart.” And I want you to know, I wet my pants like I meant it.

The End

P.S. Sometimes Jesus has a weird sense of humor. Thanks a lot, Jesus.

P.P.S. For people concerned about issues like human trafficking, I encourage you to check out the work of International Justice Mission.

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
16 comments
  1. […] of Five Kids Is A Lot Of Kids hilariously talks about literally wetting her pants from a dag-gone big sneeze. Check out her post, and the other post where the comments sent her into a […]

    1. I don’t see where “love the sinner but hate the sin” ties together a particular person and the sin he/she is committing at any particular moment. I think that #1 we love all sinners (all of us), and #2 we hate the sin (all sins all of the time). So, if we see someone who is sinning, then yes we love that sinner as Jesus told us to do, and we also hate the sin, but we hate that sin period, regardless of who we we may see committing it right now – we hate it every time it is committed by whoever is committing it. I know what I’m trying to say, but I’m not sure how clearly I’ve said it here!!!

  2. I’ve been thinking about your original post. It’s a hard one for me, but I think mostly I agree with you. You’re right–Jesus says to love our neighbor. Period. Love our enemies. Period. There isn’t a qualifying statement. If someone is my enemy, I think it’s pretty certain that I think their behavior or outlook is wrong, and probably sinful. We tend to think anyone not doing things our way is wrong–we, as humans. I feel like it kind of takes a burden off my mind–I don’t have to be preoccupied with others’ sins, just my own. I need to be preoccupied with loving them. If they ask me how I feel about their lifestyles, I can tell them that it’s not what I think, but what God thinks, that matters. Their relationship with God is what needs to come first.

    I’m not sure this frees me from discussing sin with people, but it does remind me that it’s about loving the person. Nobody who ever hated my sin had a big impact on my life. People who loved me did, though.

  3. Hi Beth! I actually am just at the tail-end of a trip to Southeast Asia with Love146 (they work to end child trafficking and exploitation, and they often partner with IJM).

    One of the most interesting parts of the trip for me was hearing about research they have just finished in Cambodia on the side of the demand (the “johns” who use prostitutes). I was most struck by their responses to the question of, “Why do you use prostitutes?” to which a majority of them replied, “I’m looking for love.” (!!!)

    And, as always, whenever I think I can righteously condemn a person, I was power-slammed by the Holy Spirit, who reminds me that Love is ALWAYS the best response. So next time I’m in Cambodia, and I see a western man with a much, much younger Khmer woman, the only appropriate response is to treat them both with love, and to hope for a conversation which can bring healing to whatever pain he is in, which is the first step in any change, for any of us.

  4. Beth, if going to church were anything close to as enlightening and entertaining as reading your blog, I might consider it.

  5. International Justice Mission is such a fantastic organization. We’ve been supporting them for years and have had friends work with them. Thanks for recommending them. Be sure to check out Gary Haugen’s books about sex trafficking, human rights and the organization, if you’re interested in learning more.

  6. My mama always used to say, “the sin in their life is none of your business”. I knew perfectly well what she meant and it had nothing to do with ignoring sinful actions that hurt the innocent. It is our job as Christians to share love and work on our own sin not to root out the sin in someone else’s life.

  7. first off, hadn’t realized there were more than one Cindy reading your blog. Pat yourself ont he back cuz there aren’t that many of us around nowadays. 😀
    2ndly, This is the 3rd time in less than 24 hours that I’ve heard or read this verse!!! I was starting to work a cleaning shift at our church and was feeling totally wimpy cuz I only lasted 45 minutes. But then in the car (resting before I could begin the LONG 15 minute ride home), God spoke into my heart “WHATEVER you do, do it HEARTILY to the Lord.” He didn’t say HOW MUCH you do– like if you do a LOT, do it heartily, or if you only have a little to do–well then, do that heartily–nope, just WHATEVER you do, do it heartily. and this post illustrates that point EXACTLY!! <3 <3 <3 ;D

  8. Thank you, Beth, just thank you, again today 🙂

  9. I’ve never met a mom yet who didn’t REALLY have to pee like RIGHT NOW but too many other people needed her first. And yes, your posts have made me laugh to the point of racing into the bathroom so as not to do what you did. I’m just thankful it’s not sneezing season here yet.

  10. huh? what does that phrase have to do with sex trafficking and child abuse? Are they saying the VICTIMS are sinners and we should love them even though they somehow sinned by being coerced into being sex slaves? or we should love the traffickers and hate what they do?

    Either way that is just f’d up.

  11. I just perused the comments yesterday and I feel like there was one thing missing – and perhaps I’m already belaboring the point from yesterday. RELATIONSHIP! If my friend calls me on my sin, which will probably be hard for me to hear, I will listen because I trust that she is speaking IN LOVE because she knows me.

    As a generalization, I believe we tend to “love the sinner, hate the sin” and keep at arms length from people we are meant to listen to, learn about, know and love.

    On this issue of institutionalized evil, which yes I understand to be on a whole different level, I’m guessing if we dug around a bit to the root of it we would see a lot anger, fear, hurt, pride etc but a huge dearth of LOVE.

    1. Yes. I absolutely agree with you, Heather. Thank you.

  12. I read this blog recently about self care… http://putdowntheurinalcake.com/2013/10/radical-acts-of-self-care-2/ and I think you might want to read it… GO TO THE POTTY when you need to!!! LOL 🙂

    1. I tried marking like on Heather’s post but it won’t let me. I had read your original post as well, and had some different thoughts, likely due to different ways of seeing this modeled. The original quote was explained as ‘I’m not OK with your behavior, but I love you.’ My parents taught it to me to try expressing that they loved me, even when they were being driven crazy and got those tics in the side of their eyes. Growing up, friends holding me accountable to be a decent person…often needing to show me what that meant…has resulted in some of my biggest areas of growth, whether they were Christian or not, and whether my behavior was hurting them…or others, even myself. If we can find a way to hold each- other accountable in a community, without shaming, many of those people currently doing horrific things may have been caught in a support system that prevents them from becoming those people. Just because this has been modeled so poorly by so many does not automatically make the thoughts behind it ‘bad’.

  13. Sometimes your posts need warnings like “make sure you pee before reading” “you may want to sit down for this one” and “don’t drink anything while reading” love you!

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