The Little Sins
This is Day 25 of my 40 day Lenten Blog.
"Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 5:19)
Have you ever called someone a fool? I have. Many times, and worse names than that. That's no big deal, right? Except that Christ tells us that "whoever is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says 'You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire." (Matt. 5:22). THE HELL OF FIRE!!! Yet we encourage society to act that way, to insult others, or to get mad when things don't go our way.
Sin is so serious that Christ tells us to pluck out our own eye if it causes us to sin! I get weak and all jelly feeling just thinking about that. Of course, it is not the eye that causes us to sin, but His point is well made. What did He give this suggestion in reference to? Looking at a woman you're not married to. Not physically having an affair with her...just looking at her with lust. Because "everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matt. 5:28).
But we don't take that seriously. That's why every show on TV has women in the most revealing clothes. That's why college sporting events have scantily clad girls dancing in ways that used to be illegal in some states. That's why we let our daughters dress that way, too. And its why we don't warn our sons not to look at them.
We cannot expect society to take care with the greatest of sins if we do not do as Christ tells us and take care with the least of sins. Anger leads to murder. Lust leads to adultery. That is why Christ views anger at a brother the same as murder and lust for a woman the same as adultery. We cannot water down sins and pretend they are not sins. We cannot teach our children that something is okay when it is not.
But anger and lust are part of human nature! That's right, because human nature was corrupted by the fall. We must fight against that corrupted human nature and kill it at the root.
R.C. VanLandingham is the author of the Peter Puckett series, a Christian children's fantasy that explores what it means to know and love Christ through exciting adventures. His books and blog can be found at rcvanlandingham.com.