Everyone knows the story about how you can't put a frog in boiling water and hope it'll stay until it dies, but that you can put it in water and slowly raise the temperature until it boils to death. In truth, there are no smaller sins. Every sin is a sin. In fact, smaller sins may be worse because it's harder for us to notice them.
When we commit adultery, we are filled with guilt and driven to repentance and God's grace. When we think of ourselves more than we ought, flirt a little or slip up a bit here and there with our tongue (maybe gossip or demeaning someone else), we tend to overlook that. It's forgettable. We move on. Guilt doesn't grab us and throw us down at God's feet. The enemy smiles and dances. His foot is in the door. Once a door is shut and the knob is secure, you can hold someone out, but once that door is ajar, it's much more difficult especially when you aren't looking.
What's really sad is that most of us Christians are quick to judge the "big" sins and, therefore, turn away those who would be ready to repent and turn to the Lord. But, they won't for two reasons. We judge them harshly AND we are hypocritical. They see our sins which appear little to us, but are amplified to them by the enemy. The enemy’s plan works. But not if we let it.
Let us be ever vigilant to watch ourselves that we not stumble. We will. And, when we do, we humbly go to the Lord just as Paul in the mode of the chief of sinners. Then, we lovingly help each other when our brothers and sisters stumble. Someone once said, "Christians are the only ones who eat their wounded." I believe it. When one of our own is down, we scatter, point fingers at them and leave them to the vultures.
The world focuses their attention like the highest powered microscope to watch. Imagine their thoughts, "If this is how they treat their own, I don't want to be a part of them." What happens when they fall? They rally around them. Look at Robert Downy, Jr. or Aaron Sorkin. In their times of trials, Hollywood, which is known for its ruthlessness, rallied and gave them second chances. We should be so loving (notice I didn't say condoning). What did Jesus say? "They will know you by your love one for another."
Lastly, we need to love them. (I even hate to use the "us and them" wordage.) Jesus loved them all including the tax collectors and prostitutes which were considered the worst in those days. Today we would include homosexuals in that category. Oh, I bet I hit a nerve there. For some reason, the church, in general, doesn't like to accept this teaching of Jesus.
To Jesus, loving meant going to them, talking with them, and eating with them. When was the last time any of us actually went out of our way to get to know a prostitute (be careful here) or homosexual to share God's love. Jesus didn't condone what they did. He called them to a different life, but He never called them a sinner to their face to my memory of the gospels. But, He did do that to the established “church leaders” who were hypocrites. Those people were looking out for themselves and not going to mix with the people caught up in the “big” sins.
I have this same trouble. We all do. It’s our nature. Our legal system works this way, or is supposed to anyway. We make the punishment fit the crime. But, in God’s eyes, sin is sin. There is no small sin. If we gossip about someone, say a derogatory remark about someone, cheat a little on our taxes, whatever, it’s sin. Am I asking for perfection? By no means. I’m asking that we love one another, believers and non-believers just as Jesus would do.
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