Thursday, December 03, 2009

What Do You Think is the Worst Sin?

Do we think that any sins are worse than others?

I know we do.

Perhaps we don't all have a sin hierarchy list that we adhere to, preach about or write about. But if we stop and honestly look at our reactions to sins that people struggle with I think we'll see an unwritten list emerging.

Ya know...just a bit. There are those sins that have left the private realm and have become socially recognized sins as well. Those that are in the limelight of Christian attention.

Although he didn't make an "all inclusive list," C.S. Lewis wrote about hierarchy of sins. How the sins that are socially destructive, or physically damaging are of greater consequence to the one who gets trapped by it.

He makes his case that the sin doesn't only damage us from a spiritual perspective, but has tremendous "earthly" consequences as well.

One of his comparisons is between lust & gluttony--which if you think about it, is just a non-sexual lust for food. Anyway, he proclaims lust to be the "bigger" sin because of the earthly consequences it brings to the metaphorical table.

I think that most of us create sin-hierarchy rationalizations as well. But we don't do it from the same perspective as Lewis.

We just mark the sins that we don't struggle with at the top of the list.


To us, our "worst sin" is the one we don't commit.

We draw attention to them, preach against them, write against them. This can be even more powerful if it is a sin we "used to" struggle with but with God's help we no longer do. Oh, we reeeeaally want to talk about those.

We mentally tally up the sins of others and weigh them against our own. We look at the flaws and declare that we can't identify with what "they" are going through. And so their struggle becomes our focus.

For some reason we don't put getting an abortion, getting a divorce, being a drug addict, porn addict, etc on the same playing field as lying, being lazy, overeating, self-pride and others.

We look at that first set of social behaviors, assign them a sin and then focus attention on them. Because they're the "big" ones.


It makes sense though. Who wants to talk about their own failures?

Who wants to boast in, or gloat about their own shortcomings?

Granted, some of us do talk about our own sins to draw attention to our incredible failures and how Christ has worked in our lives through them.  But many times it is easier and much more comfortable for us to talk about the struggles of others. To talk about the potential for change as opposed to the change that has already happened in our struggles.

God doesn't call us to life of 'comfort' in this style.

We shouldn't be afraid to own up to our own shortcomings in order to display his trans-formative power in our lives.