The word “cancel” has taken on a whole new meaning in the last few years. It seems that with our social media presence and the fact that tweets, status updates, and messages don’t get deleted, people can “go back in time” and find something that someone has said and bring it back into the spotlight. Sometimes, what people have done in the past causes them to get “cancelled”. We see this a lot with some celebrities these days. Careers have ended because of a transgression.
I don’t want to argue for or against the idea of “cancelling” someone over something they’ve said or done. But I do want to think about this concept.
Is it OK just to write someone off because of an indiscretion?
While it is important to hold people accountable for their actions, and rebuke people where necessary, I do believe that we Christians are called to a higher standard. Why? Because Jesus gives us the perfect example of how to deal with people who have been “cancelled”.
Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The reality we all need to see is that we are all sinners. Every single one of us has made mistakes or done things that we’re not proud of. And even still, Christ died for us. But what if He had given up on us? What if He would have just said, “These people are just too sinful.”? Where would we be now?
We should rejoice daily at the fact that Jesus did not give up on us!
But even more, we are called to go the extra mile for our brothers and sisters. In the letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul encourages us to help restore our friends who have been caught in transgressions. He says, "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
What He’s saying is that if we help to carry the weight of the transgression of our neighbours, then we will fulfil the law of Christ. And what is the “law of Christ”? It is to love God and love our neighbours as ourselves. We fulfil the law of Christ by not “cancelling” others, but by loving others and carrying their burdens.
So remember, none of us are perfect. We all have sinned. “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And because of that, we should love God, love others, and carry each other’s burdens.