We naturally want to get rid of anything that’s distasteful and offensive. And we have the responsibility to stand against all that is unholy. But in our zeal we’re often prone to throw the baby out with the bath water.
Of course, when actually washing a child we know how to make this distinction between what’s good and what’s not, between what’s worth holding on to and what needs to be let go.
But this distinction is much more difficult in the rest of life.
For instance, we might discover a beautiful work of art, a particularly insightful teaching, or be the recipient of someone’s kind gesture. In time, we might also discover that the artist, teacher, or individual who blessed us is also morally corrupt in some way.
Our tendency is then to get rid of and discount everything they’ve done, including the good.
Wisdom is needed here.
Without condoning sin, we don’t have to throw the baby out with the bath water either.
Good art is still good art even when the artist is not. Truthful teaching remains true even when the teacher leaves a lot to be desired. And an act of goodness is not diminished even when an individual brings harm elsewhere.
We receive many blessings through cracked and stained vessels.
But we don’t have to let these imperfections rob us of what is true, good, and beautiful. Ultimately, these are gifts from God and can be freely received as such.
This is not downplaying or turning a blind eye to sin. Sin is rightly condemned whenever necessary.
But it is learning the distinction between the baby and the bath water, between the good we hold on to and the bad we separate from.
We miss many of God’s rich blessings without this distinction because we can’t get passed the imperfections of the messenger.
Faithfully stand against sin while holding firm to all that is true, good, and beautiful. These are God’s gifts not to be wasted.