Sympathy or wimpathy?


NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Monday, March 26th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from member-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Mary Coleman now with thoughts on wiping the fog off our own mirrors.

MARY COLEMAN, COMMENTATOR: There’s a question begging to be answered in our current cultural moment: “Where is the moral leadership in our nation?”

It’s not in Hollywood or in the halls of Congress.

It’s not in the media or in the White House.

But is it in YOUR house? How about mine?

Why is it so hard to identify a single moral leader in America when Jesus clearly stated it’s the job of Christians to be just that?

WE are the light of the world.

WE are the salt of the earth.

Matthew 5:13 says: But if salt loses its saltiness…it has become worthless, so it is thrown out and people trample on it.

Are we Christians worthless in this current cultural moment?

Yes, if we choose party over piety.

Yes, if all our moral eggs are placed in the ballot box.

Yes, if we defend people instead of the Gospel—which calls guilty souls to repent and change.

If all of this is true, then yes; we deserve to be trampled.

No, we don’t have to be perfect. But too often Christians are known for being mean and judgmental.

At other times, Christians are too easy on sinners by engaging in what I call wimpathy. Wimpathy is feeling sympathy for someone else’s moral failings because we also have failed. If we give a friend a pass, we can get one too.  

Christian men who struggle year after year with pornography may qualify as overly wimpathetic. Yet a man who gawks is no different than a man who gropes. Jesus said so.

And to be clear, Christian women are just as guilty. Many of us, including me, would be mortified to have our skeletons cast into the public square for media scrutiny. I came to Jesus in 1981 as a college student guilty of sexual sin. While I wasn’t a predator or a criminal, I still have ugly secrets that I hope never see the light of day.

Like the woman caught in adultery and dragged into the public square, I was touched by the Savior. He neither condemned me nor allowed me to walk away without clarity about my next step: “Go and sin no more.”

Jesus Christ was our great example of moral leadership. He did not condemn anyone for their sins, but he had expectations of repentance and change.

While it’s easy to throw stones right now, each of us would do well to examine our own hearts for wimpathetic complacency. Then we’ll have the credibility to lead others on their journey to new life with the Savior.

True moral leaders lead others to His cross.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Mary Coleman.


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