20170919

10 Reasons Why "Small Sins" Are So Dangerous

When I was a little girl, a friend told me about the difference between lies and “white” lies. “White” lies are the little lies we tell that don’t hurt anyone, like telling your friend she looks good in that dress even if she doesn’t or telling your spouse you didn’t take something when indeed you did.

It’s ok to tell a white lie, right?

Too bad the Bible doesn’t agree.

Matthew 5:28 warns that “anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Verse 29 continues, “If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” Looking at something is just as bad as actually committing the sin. Why?

God desires full intimacy and community with Him. When we hide our true selves from Him or others, we short change the fulfillment an intimate relationship with God can bring.

Jerry Bridges, author of the book Respectable Sins writes, “The motivation for this book stems from a growing conviction that those of us whom I call conservative evangelicals may have become so preoccupied with some of the major sins of society that we have lost sight of the need to deal with our own more ‘refined’ or subtle sins.”

Here are 10 reasons why those white lies and other small sins can be so dangerous:

1. They go unnoticed and therefore unaddressed. 
When I think I am doing well, pride sets in. Pride in itself is sin, but if I don’t confess it and assume a posture of humility, I can deceive myself into thinking I am better than someone else, leading to a self-righteous attitude. Pride is a scary sin, because we don’t see our need for repentance and therefore move further away from God.

2. They corrupt other parts of you. 
Luke 11: 34 says, “the eyes are the lamp of the body. When your eyes are healthy, your body is also full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body is also full of darkness.” Your eyes are the gateway to sin. When your eyes look at something, it leads to sinful thoughts. If unchecked, it reaches your heart, which translates into action. It is best to keep your eyes clean and your heart will follow.

3. They rob us of an intimate relationship with God. 
God wanted fellowship with Adam and Eve. But when they kept their sin hidden and instead blamed each other (“that woman you put with me”) drove a wedge between true fellowship and pseudo-intimacy. Their lives were never the same. If we continue down that path, our lives won’t either.

4. They stunt our spiritual growth. 
Without intimate fellowship, God can’t speak into our lives because sin separates us from Him. Because of this, discipleship and growth are stunted, preventing us from reaching the finish line in the race we run towards God.

5. They turn into bigger sins. 
Remember those white lies? It never stops with just one lie, does it? Soon one lie leads to another, and soon those small lies have grown into something beyond our control. Like a snowball, each sin gathers until it becomes so big, it knocks out whatever enters its path.

6. They isolate us. 
There is no such thing as a sin that doesn’t hurt anyone. If we are doing the Christian life together, all sin separates us. If sin can separate us from God, how much more does it affect the people we surround ourselves with?

7. They ruin our character. 
We are all sinners. But if we don’t act with integrity with others, will we prove ourselves trustworthy? Will Christianity be proven trustworthy?

8. They make us hypocrites, corrupting our witness. 
At the time of this writing, Joel Osteen is under fire for allegedly not opening his church doors to victims of hurricane Harvey. Although there are conflicting reports as to Lakewood Church’s role in the relief efforts, one thing is clear: the world is watching. And it expects us to be who we say we are. If we call ourselves like Jesus. If Jesus was known for love and compassion, our actions should be similar. If we claim to follow the One who claimed to be the Way the truth and the Life, then we need to lives filled with truth. Anything less makes the gospel appear false.

9. They put a stain on the bride’s dress. 
If you are as accident prone as me, you know that white is the worst color to spill something on. Even the tiniest of food that drops onto a white fabric is visible no matter how hard I clean it. The sins I commit, even when I think no one is looking, make a stain on my dress that is impossible to get out. Scriptures makes several parallels between the Church being God’s Bride. This puts me one step further from being ready for when the Groom comes for me.

10. They make me unflavorful. 
Salt is a great spice that brings out the flavor in my food. When I don’t use salt, my food is bland and dull. My job is to be salt to the world around me. But when sin gets in the way of my witness, it makes me unfit for the work God has for me. Paul describes us “the aroma of Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16). We should give people a taste of Jesus too.

[written by Michelle Lazurek, a pastor's wife]