Is one sin worse or greater than another? Isn't all sin the same in God's eyes? Many have asked this question, me included. To find the answer we have to consider several truths.
We are all guilty of sin by virtue of our sin nature inherited from Adam. “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard” (Romans 3:23 NLT). When the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, we become aware of our guilt and feel true shame over our sin.
We all have an intuitive sense of justice and that wrong must be atoned for. But because of our sin nature we are prone to self-atonement and false guilt, a sense and thought that we must somehow pay the penalty ourselves. This results in self-recrimination, self-accusation, and false shame, which is a powerful sense of worthlessness.
God addressed the problem of our guilt and shame by providing forgiveness as a gift “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NIV).
The punishment for our sin is not overlooked. The death of Christ actually paid the penalty in our place once for all: “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
The Lord also provides ongoing provision for our sin: “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 2:1-2). By truly receiving His forgiveness when we sin as believers, we thwart self and Satan's attempts to create false guilt.
Too often we experience shame over the wrong issues or in too great a degree. Paul, in Romans 1:16, drew an important boundary around shame. He marked off the things of Christ, leaving shame to the realm of the sinful and disobedient.
Perhaps the waters of guilt have washed over you, and you feel like you are sinking in sorrow and regret. What could be preventing you from moving beyond your past and feeling forgiven?
Despite their "in-control" exterior, men often feel like imposters and are insecure that their inadequacies will be discovered.
Family relationships are bound to strain at times and in many cases fracture, leading to feelings of failure and guilt, but there is a way to repair and rebuild damaged relationships—whether or not we’ve chosen them.
Choose some psalms to include in your personal reading time this summer. To help make them stick, don’t try to digest too great a meal in one sitting. Consider these songs as rich food to be savoured slowly.
Five proven time-wasters. Put these suggestions into motion, and your new year could set records in wasting valuable time. But on the other hand, who wants to do that?
Maybe the real reason I don’t like making resolutions is because it forces me to acknowledge how sinful I still am. It’s much easier to ignore the parts I need to work on and live in mediocrity.
And it was this intensity that caused prayer to degenerate from a flowing spontaneity to a rigid, packaged plan, dispensed routinely by the religious leaders. Prayer changed from privilege to an obligation.