Choosing Grace Over Judgment: A Reflection on Proverbs 19:11

Proverbs 19:11
The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.

How often do we feel some sort of righteous satisfaction in “exposing” someone in their sins? It is by default a very natural instinct for religious people to become the spiritual police over someone else’s mistakes. One of our greatest enemies is religion itself. If you’re like me, you enjoy that “ole’ time religion”, but the truth is, “religion” by its truest definition has caused way more damage than good! When I say religion, I mean the spirit of religion. It is a law-like critical spirit that can’t get past someone’s faults to see their needs. Our text teaches us that it is a man’s glory to pass over a transgression! This speaks of conducting one’s self with a graceful disposition. The phrase “pass over” reminds me of the great Pass Over, where the Lord said in Exodus 12:13, “…when I see the blood, I will pass over you…” When we preach Christ, we must not condemn others in their sins, but rather we must introduce them to Christ, the remedy for their sins! The emphasis is placed not upon the sin, but upon the Savior. Jesus did not say, “And sin, if sin be lifted up, all men will be drawn unto me.” However, He did say, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” See John 12:32.

Do not read this and think that I am indicating we should never preach and teach against sin! To the contrary, we must warn everyone including ourselves of the pitfalls of sin. What I am saying is that we must not forget in our preaching against sin that where sin abounded, grace did much more abound (see Romans 5:20). Preaching against sin without any grace is no different than offering a fatal verdict with no remedy. When sin must be addressed, do so not with a judgmental spirit, but with compassion and grace. Is it better to say, “Thou sinner!” or to say, “Oh, what a Savior!”? When we exalt Christ, the subject of sin is addressed immediately, for why would we even need a Savior if we had nothing to be saved from? Therefore both statements are declared in one message! The issue here isn’t whether or not we should address sin, but the issue is the spirit and attitude in which we do so, namely whether or not we do so with grace. Sin must be addressed, but it can only be successfully addressed by Calvary’s divine flow!

~ Pastor Gary Caudill
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