As a guy that often lives across the proverbial “line,” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used the phrase, “Oh, it’s not that big of a deal.” There’s a sense of freedom I find in it. It’s a crutch. I can say whatever I want, slip that handy little phrase at the end of a crude comment or conversation and viola, justified! Those convenient few words have gotten me out of a lot. Or so I thought.You see, I’ve convinced myself that using this phrase helps me escape a conversation victoriously, when in reality it’s only perpetuating something far more destructive. It’s become more than just words but rather an unfortunate mentality. A mentality that has hardened my heart towards sin without even knowing it. I’ve tricked myself into thinking certain sins in my life aren’t that big of a deal.
I can’t help but think that this is exactly what Satan must want. He seeks to empower us to marginalize our own sin while magnifying the sins of others. He wants us to condemn “those sinners over there” and forget about ourselves. It’s so easy for us to grieve and be angered by the sin we see around us, but why is it so difficult to lament over our gossip, our judgementalism, or our impatience? At what point have we decided to brush these sins aside?
Well-known author Jerry Bridges has written a book about this very idea. He refers to these sins as respectable sins. Sins that have become easy to tolerate. While you and I might find them respectable, God sees nothing respectable about them at all. They disgust him. And when we convince ourselves we’re “not as bad as the next guy,” we’ve fallen again directly into Satan’s plan. All sin is serious because all sin is against God. God always judges sin. Fortunately for believers, God has judged our sin in the person of His son. He forgives our sin because of Christ’s death on the cross, but He does not tolerate it.
I’m blogging about this topic both out of confession of these sins in my life and as a caution to all of you. Sin really is a big deal. Even the “little” ones. And when we convince ourselves they aren’t, Satan wins. So ask yourself… What are your respectable sins? What are the sins in your life you’ve brushed aside? The sins you justify? We’ve all got them. The only person we aren’t fooling is God.
Check out Ryan’s blog here for six biblical reasons to fight against sin in your life.