Some sins have become culturally acceptable. We do not call them out. We rarely even acknowledge them. And many don’t even recognize them as a sin. But this list of sins is something we should not ignore.
Now before you read this and go point your finger at others, take a look in the mirror. This isn’t a weapon to use against people, rather an opportunity to evaluate our own sin.
Here’s a list of sins that we often ignore.
Gluttony is probably the most acceptable sin in the American church. Which is why it’s first on the list of sins we ignore. While the church is known for taken hard stances on other sins it almost glorifies the overindulgence of food, drink, and anything else we can shove in our mouth. We live in a culture of excess, but Christians should take a stance against this unhealthy behavior.
We made gluttony totally normal. But the Bible takes a different stance. It talks at length about self-control (1 Peter 1:5-7, Galatians 5:22, 2 Timothy 3:1-9). We are not to let anything control our lives. When it does control us it takes the place of God, in other words, it’s a sin. We should instead strive to practice self-control so that nothing gains control of us.
Now I’m not saying if you eat too much turkey on Thanksgiving that’s a sin. Gluttony is not an occasional indulgence rather a habitual practice. The Bible portrays occasional feasts as a good thing. But when we make a good thing an ultimate thing it ultimately becomes destructive. And for many food is a destructive force in their life. It’s become an idol.
Food is good. We should eat it and enjoy it. But we should also be careful to not let it control our lives.
Let me be clear, mental illness is not sinning. There are some that have an actual medical condition. I’m not proposing that those that suffer from mental illness are sinning.
What I’m talking about is the fear and anxiety that people bring on themselves by worrying about things out of their control. Whether it be politics or money or some disease you might contract. As Christians, we ought not to worry. If Jesus died and rose again, what does it matter?!” That’s what Jesus is getting at in Matthew 6:25-27.
We don’t need to worry about how much money we have. What happens to this country or what illness we might get in the future. At the end of the day, no one but Jesus has the power to make any impactful change on our lives. We literally have nothing to worry about or fear.
I know what you are thinking, I don’t have any golden statues in my house. But you still have idols. It might be that black box that hangs on your wall. It might be your social media accounts. That brick in your pocket that you stare at constantly. Your clothes, bank account, relationships, looks, and intellect can all be idols. An idol is anything that takes the place of God. We have plenty of those in our culture today.
There’s always something vying for God’s spot in our life. Money, time, social status, even technology are all trying to become the most important thing in your life.
How do you know if you have an idol? What’s the first thing you think about in the morning and the last thing at night? Whatever that is it’s a good chance that is an idol in your life. Idolatry leads to all sorts of other sins, many that are on this list of sins.
This certainly could fall into the previous category as an idol. But this one stands out. We are the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. Yet we are buried in debt. We are terrible managers, or stewards, of our wealth. That is a sin.
In Matthew 25:14-30 Jesus talks just about that. Although his parable isn’t exclusive to our finances, it certainly does apply. God has entrusted us with time, money, resources, and opportunities. We are charged with caring for however much, or little, he has given us. When it comes to money, we are failing.
Let me make one thing clear, having money is not sin. But letting it run your life is. Using it all on yourself, and taking extra credit to spend even more is being a bad steward. God gave you what you have so you can provide for yourself, and yes, find enjoyment. But he also expects you to use it to grow his kingdom. But the American church is failing in this regard, and worse we rarely call it out or put it on any list of sins.
It’s a sin to put anything before God. That includes America. Our ultimate allegiance is to God, not this country. Too many in the church place their American freedoms above God’s kingdom.
This means that sometimes what is best for this country is not always what is Biblically correct. I hear far too many Christians that are more concerned with the direction of the government and not concerned enough with their neighbor. Where is your allegiance? Is it to God or country? Are you more concerned with the direction of this country or advancing the Kingdom of God?
I know this is a touchy subject. God’s Kingdom has a different set of morals and governing principles that stand in opposition to every earthly government. We need to look and see where our allegiance lies.
One of the greatest temptations man faces is to be idle. It started in the Garden of Eden when Eve was tempted, Adam did nothing; he was idle. We today largely do the same. We largely don’t even protect our families. Sure we protect them from the “physical” dangers out there, but what about the spiritual dangers? Why aren’t we warning our Christian brothers and sisters when they wander off in the wrong direction? Why don’t we call out sin in our own family?
God did not call us to be idle and timid. He called us to be bold and courageous. It’s time for us to stop being idle and go get involved in others’ lives.
Maybe this seems a little weird to be on a list of sins. But I think the greatest lie we have boughten into is that life is all about our personal comfort. It’s not. Jesus never said that his disciples would be surrounded by comfort and nice things. He actually said that in order to follow him they would have to pick up their cross in order to follow him.
Comfort isn’t bad. In fact, we are commanded to take time to rest and relax. But this is the same principle as gluttony. Too much of a good thing can become destructive. We should rest and find comfort, but that shouldn’t’ be the primary goal in our life.
What would Jesus’ life look like if he pursued comfort instead of us? It wouldn’t be a life that would change the world that’s for sure. We need to stop pursuing comfort and chase after the things after God’s heart. It will lead us to some pretty uncomfortable situations, but it will also lead to a life well-lived.
This list of sins isn’t intended to be used to show how bad “they” are. It’s not ammo to shoot people with. It’s a mirror to examine yourself. My guess is there are one or two things on this list that you struggle with. For me, it’s Comfort and Consumerism. We need to each take our sins to Jesus, even the sins that are socially acceptable. We won’t see any change until we each deal with our own sins.
By Jeffrey Curtis Poor at rethinknow.org / Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov from Pexels
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