Excerpt from: My Heinous Heinous Ways
Don’t confuse the “penalty” of sin (if you stand before God or the government) – with the “effect” of sin (the pain and anguish inflicted). Yes, in God’s Heavenly Court any degree of sin is worthy of condemnation, so in that sense, it’s all bad. However, any specific sin is surely measurable by it’s varying degree of affliction caused upon all involved.
Degrees of Sin:
1I can deal with that/ 2not really all that bad/
3not so good/ 4unacceptable/
5bad/ 6really really bad/
7evil/ 8Really BAD/
Would you say it is all the same degree of bad, or some sins are worse than others? To illustrate, let’s play “Would You Prefer”.
Would You Prefer…
(1) Would you prefer
(A) the hate-filled person hate you, or is it all the same if he/she
(B) would murder you?
(2) Would you prefer
(A) the jealous person feels jealous of you, or
(B) the jealous person takes what you have out of your garage?
(3) Would you prefer
(A) Jack and Jane gossip about your sins throughout your church year after year, or
(B) they take-out a full page ad in the county-wide newspaper denouncing you as a rotten sinner?
(4) Would you prefer
(A) your employee embezzle $1,000 of your money, or
(B) your employee embezzles $50,000 of your money?
(5) Would you prefer
(A) your husband lust, or
(B) your husband starts an affair with a neighbor?
(6) Would you prefer
(A) you impatiently grumble inside your head, or
(B) you snipe or speak harshly to your spouse?
We of course prefer none of the above! It’s all bad. And the Bible’s big thing about sin in our life is, “Don’t let sin reign…”
12 Therefore do not let
in your mortal body
so that you obey its lusts,
13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body
as instruments of unrighteousness;
but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead,
and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
14 For sin shall not be master over you,
for you are not under law but under grace.
– Romans 6:verses 12-14
But, degrees of sin are obvious. Some sins are not as pain-inducing as others. But that’s not to excuse any sin – whatever the degree. All sin is wrong.
Some “lower degree” sins lead naturally to “higher degree” sins. They are a natural warm-up phase for worse things to come. An example is pointed-out by Jesus about the Pharisees’ recruits becoming twice as bad as they themselves are:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees,
because you travel around on sea and land
to make one proselyte;
and when he becomes one,
you make him twice as much
a son of hell as yourselves.
– Matthew 23:15
Sin. It’s all bad. God hates all sin. And we should also. Actually, we should especially hate and work against the “lesser degree sins” because they so often entangle us into something worse.
Some folk excuse their sins, saying, “I would never do THAT! How vile.” And go on to think they are better than “them“, because they don’t do THAT (“higher degree sin”). The Bible teaches:
“… do not be children in your thinking;
yet in evil be infants,
but in your thinking be mature.”
– 1 Corinthians 14:20
“Therefore let him who thinks he stands
take heed that he does not fall.”
– 1 Corinthians 10:12