The longer I follow Christ the more I notice something disturbing about the way I view sin. Basically I’ve created a sin hierarchy. There are some sins that I consider to be lesser sins, while others would be greater or more heinous sins. Let me give you some examples. I would consider stealing and lying to be “lesser sins”. As I move up the hierarchy, I would place viewing pornography, drunkenness, the use of drugs, adultery and murder as “worse sins”. Now I’ve thought about my reasoning for this, and what it comes down to is really the fact that I want to look good.
CNN did a study and asked Americans what they consider to be the worse sins a person can commit. Let me share the top five things American consider morally wrong:
- Cheating on your taxes
- Having an abortion
- Homosexual behavior
- Viewing porn
Do you have a list in mind of what sins you consider to be worse than others? Have you acted like me and created a sin hierarchy in your mind to help yourself feel better about your actions? We want to think there are “big” sins and “little” sins, but the reality is that they are all sins. The difficulty is with more people not believing we have a hard time talking about sin. The best definition of sin that I’ve heard is: “anything a person does that is contrary to the commands of God.”
Now that can be a lot of things. The Old Testament gives us 613 commands, or ways to obey God’s word. If sin is anything contrary to God’s commands than it seems like we have a lot of ways to break God’s commands! Now add to the fact that each of us are a different place spiritually. Some of you are here at church for the first time and others you’ve been coming to church for your whole life. Some of you think sin is an outlandish way of thinking while others of you might actually beat yourself up too much on sin.
Psalm 51 gives us a great example of a man who fell into sin but turned to God. You can listen to the entire sermon right here because there is hope!