Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"At Least I'm Not Like Them"

"I have found in David, the son of Jesse, a man after my heart, who will do my will." -Acts 13:22 (ESV)

     Often times as Christians, we tend to make some sins to seem more sinful than others. We tend to compare our sins to those of others in order to make ourselves feel better. We tend to think, "Yes, I hit her, but at least I didn't kill her." "No, I didn't take that opportunity to invite him to worship, but it's not like I stabbed him." And I know that some of you are thinking, "Are you really comparing not inviting someone to worship, to stabbing them?" And the answer is yes. Not only because stabbing isn't as bad as eternity in hell, but because they are both sins. James 2:10 says, "For whoever keeps the whole law but failed in one point has become accountable for it all."

     David was a murderer. He caused a woman to cheat on her husband. He raised his children poorly, he deliberately disobeyed direct orders from God and took an unlawful census, and committed many other sins. However, as we have seen above in Acts 13:22, David was a man after God's own heart. How can this be? Well, David always repented. And not just, "God, please forgive me of my sins." but he honestly, truly repented. He had sorrow for what he had done, as we see all throughout Psalms, in his hymns and poems that he had written about his sorrow and guilt. He always realized his sins, and he always repented. 

     Whenever we think of different sins, we tend to think of them as better or worse based on how common they are, and how they affect others around us. This is a very worldly view of sin. Sin is sin. Whenever we compare ourselves to others, whenever we point out the flaws of others in order to make ourselves seem better, we are sinning equally as bad as them. I mean, think about it, the sins that aren't forgiven of us will cause us to go into hell, right? So why is it that some sins are worse than others? I mean can you go to hell harder if you commit adultery than if you told a lie? If all sin is evil, then why is it so easy to say, "Yes I gossiped about her, but at least I didn't...."? There is no such thing as a lesser of two evils. I'm sure we have all heard the story of the tax collector and the Pharisee. Luke 18: 11 says, "The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.'" Is this the attitude of a man after God's own heart? 

     Today I would like to encourage you to ask yourself if you have this habit of comparing yourself to others. Do you? If so, I would like to encourage you to stop it, and to only look at your sins. We are to help others towards heaven, not make ourselves look better than them. Today I would like to encourage you to not only ask yourselves these things, but to study them for yourself, and to encourage others to do the same.