I need to talk about this because I find that people are walking around with a lot of guilt they don't deserve. When other people sin, it is not your fault.
There is a sin problem in our world, regardless of who you talk to, they are a sinner. This also means their thoughts can be sinful and you have absolutely no control over it. When they sin, even if they blame you, that does not make it your fault. While it is possible to sin ourselves by leading someone else to it, that does not apply to when you are doing nothing wrong. An example of that type of sin is drinking alcohol next to a drunk and things like that. (1 Corinthians 8:7-13) On the other hand, if you are someone dressed perfectly modest and someone chooses to lust after you, that isn't even slightly your fault. In fact, even if you dressed horribly, (as in hardly dressed at all,) and they lust, it is still their fault, not yours, because they chose to sin. You have an issue as well if you are dressing that way, but that is a separate thing to be addressed all on its own. If you're wondering if you somehow are at fault for their sin just because of your clothes, you're not. no matter what, it is still on them completely if they choose to sin. It is always a choice and we can't blame ourselves for what others do, or blame others for what we do.
I have found this is something people don't understand very well and I want everyone to really get it. There are so many women out there feeling dirty for the actions of guilty men around them when they didn't do anything wrong. There are pastors teaching that God will punish your kids for your sin despite being innocent themselves and it's just craziness to me. We are only accountable for our own sin and that isn't going to change. Don't blame yourself when someone else does something wrong, and don't hold it against them. It is alright to be upset when someone wrongs you, but always be willing to forgive them and don't let it fester and turn into something more. Like I said before, there is a sin problem in the world and people need to hear the gospel, no matter how much they wrong us. So let the blame fall where it belongs and treat them as you would anyone else, no matter how depraved they may be. (Romans 5:20-21)
Another aspect of this that needs to be talked about is the reverse of this problem; people making excuses to sin because of people around them. It does not matter if most guys have a lust issue, you do not get an excuse to lust. Just because many women have a tendency to gossip a lot, does not mean that you get to gossip just because you're a woman. I don't care how many people around you are sinning, it is not an excuse to do it yourself. I hear it far too much in the church that it is just a given you will sin a certain way just because of your surroundings. The best thing you can do for yourself and for God is to stop making excuses and be the person God wants you to be. Don't worry about what others do, don't worry about how many people tell you it isn't worth trying to change. Just do whatever God expects of you, no matter how hard it may seem, to the absolute best of your ability.
The best way I can summarize everything I tried to explain here is this; The things that other people do have no bearing on the choices you ultimately make. You are not guilty of the sin of people around you, and nothing physically forced on you can count against you as sin. At the same time, you are not excused of your actions because other people push you toward sin. We will all be held accountable for our actions in the end, and God is not going to excuse you because people told you it was okay. I hope this brings you some peace and understanding so that you can start focusing on being the best follower of Christ you can be.
Dedicated to making strong disciples of Christ.
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