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Taking Sin Seriously

But as he which hath called you is holy, so
be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
1 Peter 1:15-16

Oftentimes we wonder why we don't feel or even act very holy. We want to be holy, for God commands us to: "Be ye holy, for I am holy." But somehow we fall short.

The biggest reason we aren't more holy is that we do not take some sin seriously. We tend to overlook some degree of sin in our lives. We tend to categorize sin into big things, which are totally unacceptable, and little things, which can be tolerated. "These sins are the BIG ones that God hates, And I don't do these things, but my sins are just little ones that don't really matter." We have become comfortable with our "little sins". And are willing to live with them.

But God is pure and holy, and He does not categorize sin: there is no big or little sin in His eyes, it is all sin. Period. You may argue, "Well, yeah, but going over the speed limit isn't the same as murdering someone, it's just a little thing."

Here's the thing though: Sin is sin because God says it is. It isn't sin based on what man thinks about it. It doesn't become sin based on how bad it is, it is sin because God said so. And the basis for every single sin, big or small, is rebellion against God, plain and simple. Even if the Bible does not specifically name your particular sin - such as breaking the speed limit, for instance - it still gives us the principles to know when we are violating God's instructions to us. Who are we to say that ignoring our civil law is not a serious sin in the sight of God?

Scripture says it is "the little foxes that ruin the vineyards" (Song of Solomon 2:15, NIV). It is compromise on the little issues that leads to greater downfalls. It is the willingness to tolerate certain sins that keeps us from being the holy people we were created to be.

None of us can keep God's commmands perfectly enough to be holy, of course. The Bible says we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Our holiness is like filthy rags, in fact. It is only through the blood of Jesus that God imputes holiness to us at all. But that doesn't mean that we can remain tolerant of our "little" sins. Sin must be every bit as abhorrent to us as it is to our Lord. We must take ALL sin seriously.

Only God has the knowledge and wisdom to determine what is sin. We just have to accept that something is a sin just because God said it is, regardless of how minor it may seem to us. How many of us have ever told our children, "Because I said so, that's why!" When we begin to tolerate certain sins, we need to remind ourselves, "Because God said so, that's why!"


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