"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law (commits lawlessness): for sin is the transgression of the law (lawlessness)."
1 John 3:4
I have lately been reading a book entitled, Respectable Sins, which deals with sins we become comfortable with, and even some sins that we do not even consider as sin. There are certain sin topics a pastor can preach about that will get resounding amens and even compliments after the church service. Some of these sins even the world would agree are wrong, and in some cases they are seen as despicable. Sadly, we do not see all sin as despicable as we often have pet sins that we are more than happy to indulge in. All sin is against God, no matter how we categorize it. His holiness is the standard, and any sin is an offense against His holiness.
As I have read this book, I have been confronted with sin in my own life that I have become comfortable with. My tongue is something I struggle with whether it be gossiping, tearing down someone, or idle talk. I am equipped with a quick tongue that often is quicker than my mind, and I sometimes allow this to lead me to sin with my tongue. I have been convicted by God's Word through preaching, and through others who serve as admonishers for me. My wife often serves as a bowling alley bumper to ensure the ball goes straight down the lane. I sometimes stray to the gutter, and I am grateful that God uses His Word and those in my life to convict me of my tongue and set me straight again.
I graduated from Arizona State University, and to simply say I am a fan is a gross understatement. I love my school and all sports associated with it. We have a rival school down south whose name I will not even mention, but I will say I have great disdain for the school. I try to stay out of Tucson as much as possible, but I spent a few days there a couple of years ago.
We often give a praise report to start our Freedom That Lasts’ meetings, and I was talking about how I was grateful for the couple of days God gave me to relax in Tucson, except I referred to Tucson as the “arm pit of Arizona”. I received some laughs from the group and my unkind joke seemed to go over well. I noticed we had a visitor and she smiled at my comment, but did not laugh like the others. When it was her turn to give a praise, she started by saying she was visiting from the “armpit of Arizona” and gave me a sly grin. I instantly realized I had put my foot in my mouth, and I realized what I had said was unkind and offensive. I did my best to apologize, but was awkward at best. I do not believe she was gravely offended, but it was something I should not have done. I wish I could say this was the only time I put my foot in my mouth, but it has happened more times than I would like to count.
The point of my life is the gospel and my tongue sometimes gets in the way of portraying the gospel as it should be portrayed. No sin is acceptable or justifiable, and we must allow God to search all areas in our heart and life to root out sin. We must not accept any sin in our life, and we must live in a way that is pleasing to God. Holiness is always the standard, and we must never lose sight of God's standard for our life.
Where are you today? What "pet" sin have you allowed in your life? What sin do you see as “respectable”? What sin have you allowed or tolerated that you need to change and agree with God on? Whose standard are you using in your life? Would God would be pleased with your speech, attitude, or work ethic? Our goal is not to be okay by the world's standards, but to live by God's standards. 1 Peter 1:16 states, "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." May we be Holy as He is holy, and may we follow the lead of our heavenly Father.
Stay in the fight!