An old friend contacted me yesterday. I hadn’t been in communication with this person over the years, so I didn’t know what had transpired in their life, or what road they had taken. After some really kind words, the reality of a struggle with addiction was revealed. Simple. Honest. Real. I thought about them the rest of the day.

It takes a lot of bravery to be open about a struggle. Sadly, though, people often don’t know how to act when something hard is revealed, so the person who has risked the telling is often met with judgement or disdain. It makes me think of a little wall plaque I saw once that said this:

Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you do.


I think we have such a hard time with revelations of hard and messy struggles because they hit a little too close to home. And we’re not brave enough to let anyone know, so we point fingers at the one who IS and make them look like the loser. After all, our sin is not nearly as bad as theirs, so why draw attention to it? Right?

Consider two people who each have a wound. A bad one. They both tear their shirts into rags and tie the strips of cloth around the wound without cleaning it or giving it any other attention. After a while they’re both limping. One decides they’ve had enough and they go to the doctor. The doctor carefully removes the bandage and is met with a bad infection and some nasty rotting flesh, but now that it’s laid bare, they set to work, debriding the dead skin, cleaning out the dirt and infection, packing up the wound with antibiotics, and redressing the entire thing. It’s a painful process for the patient, but life-saving.

When the newly-treated person meets up with the other, they are laughed at. “You are seriously so weak you couldn’t handle a little wound on your own?” they say. Then, a few days later, the one who sought treatment gets the report that his friend is septic in ICU.

We are all the same. We all sin. One sin is not greater than another. It may seem that some have greater consequences than others, but ultimately, all sin destroys and we all need treatment. Our eternity depends on it.

If you’re struggling, lay it bare to the One who can heal you. Then be brave and reveal it to a friend to walk with you through your recovery. And to the friends: in lieu of judgment and disdain, try grace and support.

Because you never know when the infection of your own sin will drive you to lay it bare, too.


For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 NLT

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7 KJV

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”John 8:32 ESV

“They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” John 8:7 NLT

And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” Matthew 7:3-5 NLT