I started this “Forgiven Much” series a long time ago but never got around to writing anything for it. Better late than never though, right? My idea was to post short reflections on my sinfulness in order to marvel at how much Jesus has forgiven me . You can find the link to the introduction below.
Oftentimes the sins I struggle with most in daily life seem very ‘ordinary’ and ‘small’–bad time management, laziness, impatience, a lack of discipline, etc. As a Christian, I know I should feel deep thankfulness to Christ for every sin since all sin deserves God’s holy wrath regardless of how ‘big’ or ‘small’ it feels. However, in practice, this is difficult. How can we feel the weight of our ‘small’ sins?
A while back, I was watching a question and answer session. The particular question being answered was: “If someone just told one small lie, would God be just in sending that person to an eternity in hell?” At the heart of the question is the same dilemma: what’s so bad about a small little sin? Does it really deserve the full weight of hell?
The pastor told this analogy to illustrate the great sinfulness of small sins which I found to be very helpful.
“If a man is married to a woman, and his wife leaves him for another man. And that man has certain qualities about him which make him attractive, that’s one thing. I mean if a person commits a great sin. But think about the small sins, it’s almost like the small sin is that much more abominably wicked. Because it’s like your wife saying, “I’m going to leave you for 10 dollars. I’m going to leave you for a free meal. I’m gonna leave you for a bucketful of rainwater. Do you see the insult there? You’re gonna tread on the glory of God for something ridiculously small? You’re saying, “I’m going to have my will and I’m going to do it my way even though it’s such a stupid little thing to lie about.”
Traditionally, the answer I’ve heard is that a small sin is infinite because it’s against the glory of an infinite God. That’s true, but it’s more than that. My “small” sin is infinitely heinous because I trade the glory of God for absolutely nothing. I do this constantly in my everyday actions–when I waste time on the Internet and mindlessly find my joy there, when I look for almost any excuse to put off reading my Bible or praying, when I get into an argument with my parents just to win one little silly point. As stupid as it sounds, I choose ESPN and Facebook and having my way as Savior over the Living Christ.
I’m reminded of Jeremiah 2:4-5: Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the clans of the house of Israel. Thus says the Lord: “What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me,and went after worthlessness, and became worthless? (Jeremiah 2:4-5, ESV). Praise the Savior who forgives me even though daily I trade him for worthless buckets or rainwater.
…You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. (1 Peter 1:18-19 ESV)
P.S. If anyone else wants to take up this up with me, feel free to post your own reflections of your sinfulness and how it leads you to be thankful for Christ!