Conntecting the Dots

'I'm Okay, You're Okay' is Not Okay

Today’s guest post is written by Kathi Macias. Kathy is a multi-award-winning author of 40 books, including 2011 Golden Scrolls Novel of the Year and Carol Award finalist, Red Ink. A popular Bible teacher and speaker, Kathi lives in Southern California with her husband, Al.

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“Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more” (John 8:11, NKJV).

The story of how Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery is an all-time favorite for many of us. We love that the Savior was merciful and compassionate, even turning the spotlight from the woman to her self-righteous accusers. But to focus on the Lord’s lack of condemnation to the exclusion of His admonition to “sin no more” is to misrepresent the truth and power of His words.

A few decades ago I came across a popular book titled I’m Okay, You’re Okay, and it struck a chord of concern in me because the book was selling like crazy and readers were extolling the virtues of its anything-goes message. Some years later I had the privilege of working on Josh McDowell’s manuscript for his book The New Tolerance, in which he cautioned the Church not to get caught up in the world’s ever-increasing love affair with that “I’m okay, you’re okay” type of mantra. Josh rightly predicted that our society was well on its way to making tolerance the number-one virtue and intolerance the gravest sin. We now live in that culture, where the most oft-quoted (and misused) verse in the Bible is “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1, NKJV). Though it is true we are not to judge others based on our own opinions or personal values, neither are we to toss out the absolutes of God’s Word in fear of being considered intolerant.

The Scriptures are clear that murder, stealing, lying, adultery, and other behaviors contrary to the character of Christ are absolutely wrong. Period. Not because we say so but because God says so. To proclaim His Word is not judging; it is simply believing that what He says is True because, after all, He is Truth, and God cannot contradict His own nature and tell a lie.

The Scriptures also instruct us to “[speak] the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15, NKJV). Certainly we need to proclaim God’s truth from a heart of love, desiring to see people saved and healed and set free, for truth without love causes terrible damage to the hearers. However, love without truth becomes license and allows people to remain in their sin and continue in their separation from God.

And that is why Jesus so clearly said to the woman caught in adultery, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” He assured her that she did not have to live under condemnation, but He also admonished her to change her ways. “Sin no more,” He warned her, for if she truly understood His message and received His forgiveness, her life would be marked by repentance, an “about-face” from her previous walk away from God to one heading straight for His heart, a life epitomized by a desire to please her Lord and reject a life of sin.

By all means may we refrain from imposing our opinions and personal values on others, but may we also love enough to speak the truth of God’s Word so others can turn from sin and enter into eternal life.

14 Responses to “'I'm Okay, You're Okay' is Not Okay”

  1. Kathi Macias

    Thank you so much, Grace, for allowing me to post as a guest on your lovely blog. Many blessings to you and your readers/followers!

    Reply
    • Grace

      Thank you, Kathi, for being willing to post while I’m in Eastern Europe. I appreciate your sharing wisdom here.

      Reply
  2. Jeanne

    Excellent truth, Kathi. Thanks for standing firm and showing both sides of Jesus’ interactions with people. I am thankful for His grace and forgiveneness–and because of it I am bound to give Him obedience in return.

    Blessings on all you do,

    Jeanne

    Reply
    • Grace

      Thanks for stopping by my blog and for sharing your thoughts, Jeanne. God bless you!

      Reply
    • Grace

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Davalynn. God bless you! Visit again 🙂

      Reply
  3. Anne Baxter Campbell

    True. I’m so deeply grateful He forgave me for past mess-ups, but even more grateful He helps me walk past present temptations. I couldn’t do it without Him. He is so good. Without the forgiveness, I would still be stuck in the mud and wouldn’t be able to get free. With the forgiveness comes grace and strength to dry up the mud holes or walk past them on His safe path.
    Somebody stop me, please, before I start sermonizing…
    Anne

    Reply
  4. Lucy N. Adams

    Have never read a thing this dear author, Kathi Macias has written that I have not gathered wisdom from. Her truth is God’s truth, and we are blessed. Books, blogs, devotionals, are packed with the love of Jesus heavily sprinkled with His perfect wisdom. Thank you Grace for getting this out.
    God’s blessings,Lucy

    Reply
  5. Yvonne Ortega

    Kathi is right on target as always. She loves God and people with a passion, and she has a gift for presenting the truth in love.

    Reply
  6. Katherine Swarts

    Interesting how the more society talks about tolerance, the more pigheaded people seem to become about being personally exempt from compromise. Half of Congress today resembles the Dr. Seuss picture of two characters glaring at each other with miles of open space on both sides, each insisting the other move out of HIS way because “I never take one step off my route and I’m not going to start now!!!” (Google “The Zax.”)

    Most people consider themselves just a little more equal than others and want tolerance for everyone except those who are in *their* way.

    Reply
  7. Arlene Pellicane

    This so true. We focus on the “love” in “tough love.” It’s easier! But our behavior had to change too. Thanks for the great reminder Kathi!

    Reply
  8. Katherine Swarts

    Another problem, and perhaps related to this society’s individual-mindedness, is that people assume that everything you say is YOUR personal opinion, irrespective of what authority you may have to back it up. Most of us have heard (probably dozens of times) some variation on the line “Who do you think you are, telling me YOUR way is the only way to heaven?”–as if the one addressed was personally responsible for the New Testament verse, “No one comes to the Father except by [Christ].”

    Reply
  9. Heidi McLaughlin

    You just “spoke the truth in love”.. Thank you. It seems we are so afraid to speak truth to each other, it is just easier to nod and walk away. But it is hard to do that without the fear that the other person will take it the wrong way, but when I let the Holy Spirit speak, the other person can then feel that there is “no condemnation.” God is so truthful and so kind..I need to learn to be like that. Blessings and thank you for this article.

    Reply

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