I wish believers hated sin as much as God does. Sin grieves the spirit of God (see Ephesians 4:30).
Over the next few weeks, we are going to explore some of the things we might be tempted to tolerate when it comes to those “respectable” or acceptable sins that we have allowed to enter our lives.
You don’t hear a lot about sin these days. It is not a popular topic. Many preachers and Bible teachers seem to sidestep the topic. There is a subtle move in our culture to make everything acceptable.
Nothing is off limits anymore. We’re afraid to offend someone. To call something sin is to be intolerant and hateful. It is a rarity to hear someone talk about sin or label certain behaviors as sinful.
Many have tried to soften their approach to sin. For instance, very few people talk about adultery. They would rather refer to an affair. That terminology seems to be more in alignment with modern sensibilities.
We don’t say someone stole from the company. They committed “corporate fraud.” Sin seems to be disappearing from the American landscape. Unfortunately, I am speaking of the term, not the practice.
Where sin hasn’t disappeared, there is massive deflection. By that I mean that in some spiritual circles, there is still a definite vocal acknowledgement of sin, but it is not our sin we tend to acknowledge. It is the sin of others. It is the sin out there in the world.
We prefer to focus on what we perceive to be the more flagrant sins. It is easier to condemn the sins of others while virtually ignoring our own sins, the sins we tolerate, like gossip, pride, envy, anger, bitterness, lust or gluttony.
It is so easy for us to focus on the sins of culture and the sins of others, rather than focus on the subtle sins that we have chosen to tolerate.
But if we are going to be more like Jesus, if we intend to be the person he is calling us to be, in order to be holy, we must be willing to confront those things that keep us from being like him.
Don’t you think there is something wrong when gossip and hateful words can roll from our tongue so effortlessly without any awareness of wrongdoing on our part?
You may read Steve Greene’s blog at pastorgreene.wordpress.com or you can email him at [email protected].