Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Whose Sin is Worse?

In general, my sin doesn't seem as bad to me as your sin does. Sad, but true. 

If the truth is told, we probably all feel this way, especially if we compare ourselves to the world. It's a common Christian delusion, but it's not an accurate assessment. Our standard of measure isn't the world. It's Jesus. Compared to Him, we're all pitiful failures.

1 Corinthians 10 upends my self-satisfied misconceptions. Paul wrote about the importance of learning from the mistakes of our forefathers. They had a variety of sins, he reminded us, but all suffered severe discipline from God. "These  things happened as examples for us," Paul wrote. (1 Cor. 10:6)

He used four short verses to lump idolatry, immorality, trying the Lord, and grumbling in the same pot. Yeah. Right. He stirred cheating on your spouse and grumbling about your circumstances together and came up with one pile of sin. No differentiation at all.

What? My grumbling is as bad as your idolatry? Your trying the Lord? Your immorality? 

A stab of remorse shot through me as I read those four verses. Paul was right. We've all sinned and, as a result, we've all fallen short of the mark God set for us. (Romans 6:23)

Archers have many arrows in their quiver with which they shoot at their target. It doesn't matter which arrow they use. If they miss the mark, the result is still the same. 

I haven't always given a lot of grace to people whose sin is different from mine, and I'm truly sorry for that failure. 

It may not make it out of my head and into words or actions as often as it used to, but that doesn't mean I don't indulge in sin. These days, I'm trying to see my sin the way God does, and the required repentance keeps me plenty busy. 

I have too much sin of my own to worry about yours. I'm reasonably sure we all do. 

Does our critical, judgmental spirit seem like less sin than our neighbor's? Today, let's examine our own hearts. We'll likely find more than enough sin to keep us busy repenting. Let's quit comparing ourselves to the world and start comparing ourselves to Jesus. When we see our need, let's ask Him to wash us white as snow. 

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23 nasb
In case you missed yesterday's post, here's the link: Love That's More Than Words