Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies. For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great. Psalm 25:8-11
Modern media feeds us a steady diet of big sins—leaders brought down by scandal, business people who break the law for financial gain, celebrities who wreck their lives with destructive habits, not to mention the immorality and violence littered throughout most of today’s TV and movies narratives. It is easy to observe the big sins of others and think “it’s a good thing that God can forgive great big sins because there are some people out there with some real whoppers!”
If you think yourself clear of big sins and unconcerned by little sins, consider the account of Cain and Abel. We might deem Cain a “big sinner,” after all he was humanity’s first cold blooded murderer. But notice, God approached Cain before his evil deed and said to him, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”
Cain failed to offer a sacrifice to God in faith (Hebrews 11) and instead sought God’s acceptance based on his own good works. God’s disapproval did not cause Cain to repent, instead he grew angry and bitter. “So what?” one might say, everyone gets angry. Besides, Cain was trying to do a good thing and sacrifice to God!
God, in His wisdom, recognised that Cain’s hardness of heart and unwillingness to see his own fault opened the way to greater evil. God, full of compassion for Cain, attempted to warn him of the subtlety and power of sin. Unfortunately, Cain refused God’s advice and in the end, murdered his brother (Romans 8:6-8).
In the same way, we also can overlook the “little sins” in our lives, thoughts or acts that might even be masquerading as something good. One might say, “I’m not a workaholic, I’m just productive” or “I’m not ungenerous, I’m just thrifty.” What are your little sins?
Paul points out in Romans 5 and 6 that the grace provided to us through Christ’s death negates the sting of sins large and small. Therefore, sin should no longer have any place in our lives, not sins large, nor sins small.
Let us say no to big and small sins by:
- Thanking God for His faithfulness, convictions and willingness to forgive you when you repent.
- Asking God to help you not to go the way of Cain by allowing small sins to fester and grow and become evils that wreck your relationship with Him and with others. To help you see your small sins clearly, repent and remove them from your life.