Love the sinner, hate the sin

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Love the sinner, hate the sin is a somewhat disputed saying and concept in Christian faith. It is usually meant to express the idea that although a specific kind of action is believed to be sinful or evil, the person who committed it is still worthy of our love. A good Christian should hate the sin, but he or she should not hate the sinner because although he or she committed the sin, he or she is still a child of God. God loves all people, as sinful as they may be, and so should we.

The concept of punishment is however deeply rooted in Christian tradition. Even God Himself is considered by most believers to be a punisher of evildoers. Therefore, in common interpretation, loving the sinner does not mean that crimes should go unpunished. Rather, the lawbreaker should be punished, but in a spirit that conveys that the punishment is for the benefit of his or her soul and therefore, in a way, an act of love.

Traditionally, parents are encouraged to tell their children that they chastise them because they love them (see also corporal punishment in the Bible). Children are in need of guidance, and a caring parent or teacher provides that guidance for their educational, behavioral, moral and ethical development. Such guidance includes praising and encouraging them whenever they do good, and correcting them when they are errant to lead them back on the good path.

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