The greatest tool to fight sin is love; it is not punishment, not condemnation, and definitely not fear. Punishment or negative consequences are merely the result of sin, but it should by no means be mistaken as a tool to eliminate it. Society itself has been trying to get rid of crime through punishment but has it been successful? The only trend we see worldwide are the crime rates going higher and higher (and from worse forms to worst). Even God Himself burned down and punished ancient cities (including Israel) for their rebellion but has this stopped their sinful acts and murmuring?
The greatest tool to fight sin is through love. And this is exactly why The Lord Jesus Christ came down from heaven and died on the cross. He became the solution to our sin. Jesus Christ came to love and not to punish us. If judgment and punishment can stop sin, then The Lord would not be hanging on a tree. He’ll be coming here with balls of fire and a legion of blood thirsty angels. But thank God for His tender mercies!
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Peter in his letters is telling us to follow on the footsteps of our Saviour by reminding us His commandment of love: Love one another (John 13:34). This is the solution to sin. This is the solution to despair. This is the solution to our emptiness in life. When Christ was commanding us to love, He was not trying to give us a hard time, He was there giving us the greatest solution for our total health and well-being.
For our friends who are down and suffering, they don’t need further guilt and condemnation. What they need is a constant reminder of the truth which is: “Jesus loves you!” When this truth sinks in our hearts, sin is defeated.