In a Time magazine interview, a 28-year-old AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) patient stated, “I’m scared to die as a young man. I’d like a little more time. If only God would me a break.”
Called the leprosy of the 1980s, this disease strikes fear and contempt in the hearts of millions of who do not suffer from it. Because it often results from an immoral lifestyle condemned by the Bible, many people feel little compassion for AIDS victims. Some see it as God’s special curse. Others disagree with this view. Regardless of how we see it, the fact is that any sin exposes us to the social and biological consequences of breaking God’s moral laws, and we are all guilty of that. Condescending attitudes block what is most needed by someone with AIDS – caring, help, and above all, Christ.
What is to be the Christian’s response? Without for a moment condoning sin, we should treat AIDS victims as we would anyone struggling with a terminal illness. We must be willing to visit them and help them with simple tasks. They tire easily. We should listen to their fears. Most of all we should help them find the forgiveness that everyone so desperately needs. Would Jesus do less?
Sooner or later this terrible disease may test our attitudes and actions. If they don’t measure up to Christ’s, maybe there’s a deficiency in our spiritual immune system. We may not have let Jesus’ blood cleanse us from the attitudes and actions of self-righteousness. – Dennis J. De Haan
Let me not judge my fellowmen,
But understand them, Lord, and when
The casting of t stones begins,
Remind me of my many sins. – Vandergrift
Hatred of sin should not keep us from loving the sinner.
June 30, 1988