What's the Deal with...sin
What’s the deal with Sin? Are some sins worse than others?
You may have been taught as a youngster that all sins are equal in God’s eye and that no sin is worse than any other sin. Let’s investigate that claim.
Is it really true that all sins are in some sense the same in the eyes of God? This is true when looking at the nature of sin. Sin is nonconformity to God’s Law. The Law of God tells us what we are to do and what we are not to do in order to be righteous, or completely good. When Jesus was once asked what the greatest commandment in the Law was he responded, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). That’s 27/7/365!
Integral to loving God with all of our heart, mind, and strength is to do the things that God wants and to love the things that God loves. When Jesus stated what the greatest commandment was He added this, “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). Any violation of this commandment involves us in a violation of the greatest commandment. We can’t claim to love God completely if we don’t love our neighbors as ourselves. The Apostle James reminds us that “whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10).
And so even the tiniest violation of the Law makes us guilty of sinning. Since even the smallest sin makes us less than perfect, less than perfectly holy, any sin brings eternal separation from God and eternal punishment. So in that regard all sins are equal, in that any sin places us outside of God’s demands for total perfection. All sin and any sin brings punishment.
But does that mean that God considers white lies to be equally serious as violent and vicious murder? No! White lies don’t deprive someone of life. Murder bring harm and grievance to a wide circle of people, white lies do not. So in terms of the impact that sins have on others there are obvious some sins that are worse than others. And the effect of certain sins on the perpetrator is greater with some sins that with others. The corrosive effect of murdering someone on our conscience and soul is greater than engaging in a white lie.
So are all sins that same? Yes. Are some sins worse than others? Yeah, that’s true too.