The Effects of Sin

Is one sin worse than another? Hmm? There seems to be two ways to look at this; one is the question of whether God sees one sin as being worse than another and the second is the question of whether the effects of any sin are greater for oneself and for others, than another?

James 2:10

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Let me be clear at the outset that the meaning of sin is simply: to miss the mark.

The more important aspect of this in my mind, is what our sins and the sins of others do to ourselves and others. You may think that if you steal from a person then that is between you, God and the person that you stole from; but that is incorrect.

Let us suppose that a thief breaks into a house on the eve of a childs birthday. The parents have saved hard for the present they have bought, but the thief could not care less about that. The following morning the theft is discovered and I am sure that it is not just the child that will be disapointed.

The whole family has been affected by the theft.

Let us further supose that the family live in a small village and word of the theft spreads rapidly. There may be two or more outcomes to their receiving the news. The first, and positive one is that they are given the chance through this to demonstrate the love of God by banding together, raising some money between themselves and replacing the stolen gift. But what if thefts in the village had become common place and they had exhausted any ready cash to contribute and were in fact getting 'sick and tired' of coughing up money to suppport those that they start to see as people who don't look after their own property nor safeguard it's contents.

The whole village has now been affected by the theft.

There eventually comes a time when even the smallest of straws will break the back of the strongest man living; that is if straws are being continually added to his load. The only man this was not true of was the man Yeshuah.
There is a question of whether a butterfly flapping its wings in Bejiing can cause a hurricane in Texas, totally unprovable of course. What has been proved though is that for each and every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

We who sin are that thief in the village. This world is our village and we are all related to each other. We are within the ark which is Christ.

Romans 12:5

So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

When scripture tells us to confess our sins to one another, I do not see this as just going before God and saying, 'Forgive me for I have sinned'! No, there is much more to it than that! Not only has our sin to be forgiven by the most high, but also by the most low. If we sin against our brothers and sisters, then we should confess that sin to them.

This is the only way that the harm done can be rectified or repaired; by an outward showing of true repentance in confession!

Both God and man have equal responsibilities to forgive sin:

2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

And do we not pray

Matthew 6:12

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Ephesians 4:32

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Speaking personally for a moment, I have to admit that whenever someone wrongs any one of my family, my first inclination is to go after them with a baseball bat. I find it so hard to forgive at times that I have to pray about it; pray that God will change me and change my heart to allow me to forgive. I cannot always do it in my own strength. What must it be like for those who do not pray, who do not know God?

James 5:16

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

It has been said by scientists that if a single drop of Rose water was dropped into Lake Serpentine, then within an hour or two, every fish in the lake would be aware of it. Take a single drop of black ink or dye and drop it into a bowl of water and watch the migration as it dilutes and spreads molecule by molecule so that all water in the bowl eventually becomes ever so slightly discoloured by it. It may be barely noticable at first, but for a month add one more drop per day and then see the effect. This world has had nearly 6,000 years of sins to discolour the water; what must our bowl look like to God at this time?

Now the whole world is affected by the theft!

The sin in the world is the black ink in the bowl. It slowly spreads to all 4 corners. What God may see is a grey swirling mass with little pockets of clear water that sparkle like jewels in His light. For every unforgiven sin, there is another molecule turning black. How great is our responsibility in this! Are we sure that those we have wronged in the past have forgiven us; are we sure that we have even asked forgivness of them? It is easy to ask God for forgivness; try facing your neighbour or friend and asking forgivness for some careless or angry remark you had made about them!

In conclusion then: All sin is bad, both for us and for everyone but yes, the discolouration caused by some sins are more severe than for others. The law of sin was not put there primarily to stop us sinning against God; for how can we hurt or harm the Creator of the Universe? No! The law which exposes sin has been put there to stop us harming ouselves and each other and yet somehow it is just so difficult see this!