I Want To Become Someone Who Loves Sinners

I Want To Become Someone Who Loves Sinners

It is difficult to love yourself if you do not love others.

Ryan Fan
Ryan Fan

I know people who have done awful things. I am a person who has awful things. I have often heard the phrase "love the sinner, hate the sin," but it has recently come to my attention that a big mission and next step in my life is to be someone who loves sinners, no matter how bad the sin. I say this because I come from a family with a lot of emotionally charged sin, but I am also a person who is no more or less a sinner than anyone else. Recently, it has come to my attention that I am certainly no saint, and for many people, it's hard to love others when they make horrible mistakes, mistakes that tend to hurt people.

The simple answer for why I want to become someone who loves sinners is because I have a natural propensity to stick up for the downtrodden and those other people give up on. In high school, I was always the kid that reached out to the person the rest of my friends ostracized, and in college, I've done my best to prioritize the art of reaching out to people, regardless of their situation or whatever I hear about them. Only I can make my opinion about someone else. Other people can influence it, but only I control how to regard and treat others, and most of the time I'll give the benefit of the doubt. That part of my personality has always served me well when I'm the person in a bad situation, the person people are saying terrible things about.

The professional answer for why I want to become someone who loves sinners is because Jesus did. In a parable I like to use often, the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, two men walk into a temple, a religious figure, the Pharisee, and a tax collector. The Pharisee prays "God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get." The tax collector prays "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!" According to Jesus, the tax collector who prays for forgiveness goes home justified at the end of the day, not the Pharisee.

The parable ends with Luke 15:14, which states that "for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted." Again, there are some recent unfortunate events in my life that have led me to be humbled, and I can say this definitively: there is absolutely nothing that makes you a more compassionate and empathetic person than being in need of compassion and empathy. When people reach out to you and extend kindness and compassion even when few think you deserve it are the times when you realize how virtues of grace and reaching out are in times of need for others. That is how you can get other people to believe in themselves.

Neediness is something people in my environment, particularly, scoff at. Being in an elite, highly competitive academic institution like Emory University, neediness is most often seen as a sign of weakness. But weakness often turns itself into strength, and there is better no way to improve a shortcoming than humbling yourself and admitting that you need help.

I have often heard that it's difficult to love others if you do not love yourself. I don't know if this is completely true, but I do believe the teaching has some truth to it. I would like to reverse the statement and say, instead, that it is difficult to love yourself if you do not love others. Say you spend your entire life condemning people close to you who do bad things and condemning the very people you regard as sinners. What happens when you perform the very same sin? Who's going to forgive you? Not yourself. Who is going to condemn you? That's right - yourself.

To love myself is the selfish reason why I want to become someone who loves sinners. Very often in my life, I used to stand on a moral high ground of righteousness, calling people out whenever they did things I disapproved of, like lying, cheating, or talking shit about others behind their back. What did it mean, later, when I did those very same things? It meant that I was a hypocrite, and that that same moral high ground meant that other people had the right to chastise me.

I've written before about how trying to be perfect is trying to be God. I believe we condemn people who do wrong in our eyes from a place of vanity, because we don't want to believe we can make the same mistakes. Those people. including myself at times, want to believe that they're not human; they want to believe they're God. According to crime writer, Zach Fortier, "anyone is capable of anything given the right set of circumstances." The now highly unethical Milgram experiment found that the vast majority of men would obey instructions to administer deadly shocks to observers and perform acts against their personal conscience. I wholeheartedly believe that if I were a citizen of Nazi Germany, I would have perpetuated the very same acts of evil that were performed in the war and Holocaust.

Romans 5:8 tells us that "God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." So, I want to move forward being someone who loves sinners for all these reasons, but above all because other people loved me when I myself sinned greatly.

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To My Best Friend Who Taught Me What True Friendship Is, I Can't Thank You Enough

"To the person who will love you endlessly, love her with kindness and understanding."

Dear Best Friend,

You have been a part of my life for quite some time now. You have seen my good, bad, and ugly sides and have stuck by my side through it all. I don't know if I could ever find the words to truly thank you for everything your friendship has given me, but I am definitely going to try.

Our lives have taken some twist and turn these past few years, but we have stayed strong through it all.

Thank you for judging me just the right amount.

Throughout our friendship, I have made some very questionable decisions. A lot of people would say "thanks for never judging me," but I feel like everyone needs a best friend who's going to tell them how it is, to tell them when they are about to make a bad decision or how to avoid something worse from happening. You have always told me how it is (even when I don't always want to hear it), but I know that I can come to you whenever I need someone to set me straight.

You're always down to do nothing with me.

I think that you are the one person that I can call up to hang out and do absolutely nothing with and have a good time. From the nights sitting in and playing card games to ordering Chinese food and watching an entire Netflix series while I dance around with the cat: I know that we could do anything, and nothing together and it would be fun.

But also, you're always down to get lit with me.

I swear one day we will be two old moms at a bar drinking vodka crans and laughing about the stupid shit our husbands and children do. You're always down to go out and have a good time. Even if everyone else we're with is miserable, we find a way to laugh at ourselves.

You are one of the few constant things in my life.

I've lost a lot of friends in my life, but you have stayed by my side through everything. I can't remember the last time we actually fought about anything, but even when we do we can't stay mad at each other for more than a day. I know we will be in each other's lives until we literally keel over.

I want you yo know that you're the strongest person I know.

You've dealt with things that not many people go through ever in their life. You have always been so mature, and you handle everything with grace. You inspire me every day with your goals and successes and I am so proud of you and all of your accomplishments.

Above all else, you deserve the world.

It's so easy to get caught up in your own mind and think that you deserve the things that happen to you, but please know that the only thing you deserve is happiness. Please settle for nothing short of that. It may take a bit to find your happiness, but I will be there every step of the way. You're a remarkable human being, and I want nothing but the best for you.

To the person who will hold your heart someday, please do not break it. To the person who may wrong you, you will regret it forever. To the person who will love you endlessly, love her with kindness and understanding.

You, my best friend, future bridesmaid, godmother of my children, the person to bail me out of jail, the one who lets me cry on their couch for twelve hours,

I love you.

I will cherish our friendship forever. Thank you for being you.

Love always,

Your best friend.

Cover Image Credit: Adriana Ranieri

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Sandra Bullock Is More Than Just The Lady From Bird Box

How dare you call her just the lady...?


Sandra Bullock is the lead actress of the new Netflix movie Bird Box. This movie has received so many good reviews. Also, there has been memes on social media about the movie. It's become very popular, so even people who haven't seen the movie know about the movie. For example, a meme would say:


However, there was this one disrespectful tweet.

This generation does not know who Sandra Bullock is. This is wrong because Sandra Bullock amazing. People watched Bird Box and discovered who Sandra Bullock was. I watched Bird Box because of Sandra Bullock. She is the reason why I had a great childhood. Let's not forget about all the movies that made her famous. There's many: A Time to Kill, Hope Floats, Practical Magic, Miss Congeniality, Two Weeks Notice, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, The Proposal (one of my favorite movies), The Blind Side, The Heat, Gravity, and Ocean's 8.

All these movies are the best of the best and this generation needs to watch these movies to realize that Sandra Bullock isn't just the lady from Bird Box. She is an extraordinary actress and human being, and her greatness should be recognized. Period.

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