…is the belief that the same God who we trust to forgive our sins that we struggle with will not forgive the sins of others.
It can be tough thing, particularly when you are dealing with public sin that is flaunted but the reality is we don’t know if that person is struggling with their sins, and currently failing.
While we should not shy about noting the sin and even admonishing the sinner (which is a spiritual work of mercy) we must also pray for such folks with the confidence in the forgiveness of God and the key words in the Our Father or as our Protestant Brother say, the Lord’s Prayer…
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Or to put it a better way.
You will meet a lot of self righteous people religious and non-religious who loudly proclaim their love for the people of the world and their desire for their well being, but have no use for individual people.
They love humanity in the abstract but can’t stand people.
Christianity is practically the opposite. Jesus himself says
Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them,
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from.’
This is a commentary on people as a whole, yet over and over when Jesus encounters people with a long history of sin, he offers that individual compassion and forgiveness, even as others disapprove.
So it must be with us. We might disapprove of the culture as a whole but the people we encounter are individuals. They need to be treated with love, compassion, understanding and forgiveness with the knowledge that they are children of God whose sins Jesus died for and will willingly forgive.
That difference is the difference between the virtue of humility and the sin of pride.