Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Little Sins

"For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all." - James 2:10

Bet you've never seen that verse cross-stitched in a pillow.

It's sad, but it's true. Think about the verses that you have memorized, that are hanging in frames around your house, that are etched on the walls of your church. We choose to display the pretty verses - the ones that talk about God's love, His grace, and His mercy.

Not that God isn't any of those things - He most certainly is! But I can't help but think...If we really want to grow in our faith and challenge ourselves to be more like Christ, we have to be reminded of some of Scripture's tougher truths....like the verse at the top of this post.

If you truly want to know how to live out your faith, the book of James is a great place to start. He doesn't sugar coat anything. He calls out the readers for being of the world, and He pushes them towards God to seek wisdom.

In this passage, James is in the middle of calling out the church for showing partiality - for favoring people in their congregations who wear fine clothes in jewelry over those who can't afford as much.

Now, they weren't kicking them out of the service. They were allowed to stay. But from the text, it's obvious that the poor people weren't as welcomed into the church as those who were wealthy.

As Christians, if we labeled the sin of partiality, it would fall into the "little sins" category. You know, little sins are not near as bad a "big sins" like adultery, murder, stealing, etc.

Yet, when we look at James 2:10, God doesn't seem to have the same categorization system for sins as we do.

Now, this verse doesn't mean that if you steal, God automatically put you down for committing the other nine commandments too. But it does mean that if you sin in one area, you're every bit as guilty for sin as someone who has broken all of God's laws.

To this day, I've never touched alcohol. I didn't smoke cigarettes or even think about experimenting with drugs. I didn't have sex until I was married. And I was appalled by those who did.

But my heart didn't ache for them because they had acted against God's holiness. I was just disappointed in them and satisfied that I would never do such a thing.

You know what that's called?

Pride. It's a sin.

I elevated myself above them just because of a category of behaviors that I didn't participate in. And that arrogance in my heart disgusted God just as much as any substance abuse or premarital sex.

Over the next few months, I want to study the "little sins" category we've created: lying, jealousy, bitterness/lack of forgiveness, judging, pride, arrogance, greed, worldliness, selfishness, etc. If you can think of an area you want me to explore, please leave a comment on this post, and I'll add it to my list.


What's the scoop? said...

strife! oh and unbelief! :)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

and falling for negative peer preassure

Lisa said...

Just finished reading Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges, which covers a lot of these. A great resource! Great, much needed topic too.

Michelle Myers said...

Awesome suggestion, Lisa! I'm going to check that book out! Thanks!