Proverbs 9Ten

Socially Acceptable Sins


‘Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!’ Isaiah 5:20

Some sins are obvious, like stealing, killing, hurting. Basically anything illegal. Anything we see in the news. As I explain in my post, The Truth About Sin, all sin is equally bad. So our focus should be on the sins that are harder to recognise because it’s getting harder to tell what is right and wrong. These examples I’m showing aren’t targetted at anyone specific, but are mainly general observations, as well as personal experience.

Lying

“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour.” Exodus 20:16

Once, I saw an article titled, “How to lie”. It stopped me in my tracks – why on earth would someone try to justify lying? People do it all the time, and it’s now weird to tell the truth. How often do we lie about little things like doing homework or deeper issues like being okay? A lie is a lie, no matter how small or convenient.

Swearing

“With the tongue, we praise our Lord and Father, and with it, we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” James 3:9-10

On the news, I saw a discussion about whether the f-bomb should be a swear word or not. Swearing is a tough one because different words become more or less offensive over time. If we watch our tongues and choose better words in the first place, our language should please God.

I find that swearing is reactive. It’s not so much about the word itself, but the fact that a person feels the need to use such language, perhaps, is the real problem. If we are slow to speak and slow to become angry, then swearing may not be an issue at all.

Binging 

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Binging is widely accepted, almost something to be proud of these days. How many food packets are made specifically for snacking, or the way Netflix gives you five seconds before you’re watching another episode. Having self-control seems unimportant, but it is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23), and so we’ve got to try and cultivate it before it takes over us.

Gossip & Slander

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.”

Philippians 2:3-4

Instead of a verse about not gossiping or slandering others, of which there are plenty, I believe that we have to change our mindset about people in order to stop this sin. The reason we gossip is mostly that we think we are better or more superior to others, but we need to remember whose image we’re created in and that we all have equal worth. Only then can we move past this sin.

Don’t think I’ve got this down pat. I struggle with these, just like any other teen. Thinking about how easy it is to sin without a second thought upsets me a lot. But remembering the grace of God, we have to come to him for forgiveness.   

Notice how it’s often media that feeds into these sins. Whatever everyone is doing, the media promotes. This makes it even harder to tell from wrong and right. There can be a lot of darkness in this, but we need to remember the true light in Jesus.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5

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