Sometime ago, my younger daughter urinated on herself. She was trying to hold the wee while rushing to the toilet, but the stuff dropped off before she could get there. She felt very embarrassed. But I did something unexpected. I drew her closer and said these words; “Sorry, dear. It is well with you. You are a good girl.” She felt encouraged, but her elder sister revolted; “No. She is not a good girl.” My response was simple; “Bad behaviour does not make people bad.” They both got the message.

Friend, bad behaviour does not necessarily make people bad. Listen, until you stop judging people based on what they do and start looking at who they really are, you would keep having problems with people (Luke 19:1-10). Stop labelling people bad because they do bad things. Sometimes, the people we call bad are some of the nicest people around if we move close enough (Luke 7:37-48).

The strategy of God for winning the world is not condemnation. It is love (John 3:16-17). Condemnation kills. Love builds. People live better when we quit judging them. People will always rise to the level of your faith and expectations. If you believe that your spouse is a bad person, you will soon be sleeping with a devil in the house.

Like I did to my daughter, learn to draw people closer, especially when they think less of themselves (Luke 15:18-20). When they feel messed up, they don’t need you to tell them what they already know or feel. They want you to lift them up. Unlike the pharisees, Jesus would not contribute to the mess of the woman caught in adultery. He would rather help her out (John 8:10-11). That is the gospel message. If your message does not help people out of their mess, you are not different from the pharisees.

Whereas God does not condemn the sinner, He also does not condone sin. God hates sin, but He loves the sinner eternally (Habakkuk 1:13, Romans 5:8). I hate to see my daughter wee on herself, but I love her unconditionally. In a bid not to condemn the sinner, we must not make the mistake of condoning the sin. This was why Jesus told the woman to go and sin no more (John 8:11). Grace is not an excuse for sin. It is an empowerment to overcome sin (Romans 6:1, 14, Titus 2:11).

On the flip side, good behaviour does not make a good person. The fact that the devil bought you shawarma does not make him an angel (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). Don’t judge people’s heart by what they do. Scripturally, no one is good who has not met Jesus (Romans 3:10-12, 21-24). Don’t confuse niceness with newbirth. The fact that a young man is nice does not make him a husband material if he is not born again. There are some Nicodemuses who want to win divine approval by their piousness. They need to be born again (John 3:1-7). Are you born again?

‘Demola Awoyele
Lead Pastor,
Destiny Impact Church
Akure, Nigeria