What is Sin? What Does the Bible Say About Sin?
For such a small word, a lot is packed into the meaning of sin. The Bible describes sin as the breaking, or transgression, of God's law. (1 John 3:4) It is also defined as disobedience or rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7), as well as independence from God. The original translation means "to miss the mark" of God's holy standard of righteousness.
Simply put, sin is doing those things God told us NOT to do and NOT doing those things He told us to do. Some refer to doing something we shouldn’t as the sin of commission and not doing something we should do as the sin of omission. James 4:17 says, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
You often hear about people committing the BIG sin...sins such as murder, stealing, and adultery. However, you don’t hear people talking about some sins that are overlooked...sins such as procrastination, laziness, apathy, greed, gluttony, complacency, gossip, pride, fear, doubt or hypocrisy. Those are sins, but for some reason people tend to overlook them in others and in themselves as well. This morning I want to put you on notice that these sins are also ones you should ask God to forgive you for. I am sure you don’t make it a practice to ask God to forgive you for these sins because you have
It is man who labels what sins are big or small; however, to God sin is sin, even the ones we overlook.
Complacency: Is Complacency a Sin?
Complacency is defined as being satisfied with the status quo no matter how bad it is. Complacency is accepting evil when it should be replaced with good. Complacency is keeping silent when speaking out the truth is the practical thing to do. Complacency can be summarized as being content and indifferent in the midst of moral chaos.
Why is complacency a sin? Complacently is accepting sin as a lifestyle. It is looking on sin and acting like it doesn't exist or thinking it doesn't matter one way or the other. According to the minor prophet Zephaniah, God would search the city with lamps and punish those who were complacent. Sin matters to God, and it should matter to us as well.
What can you do about complacency? First of all, admit that you are complacent. You can't change what you don't acknowledge. There might be many things you are complacent about, but seek God about the area that He wants you to work on first. Hear God's voice. Then obey God's voice.
Be not complacent, for complacency is a sin! And God will punish complacency!
Laziness: Is Laziness a Sin?
Laziness is inactivity, idleness, or refusal to work. The Bible has a lot to say about laziness and none of it is complimentary. In fact, the Bible condemns laziness.
It is not just the laziness that's a sin. Laziness invites other sins including procrastination, complacency and refusing to do what is right. Laziness results in passivity. More than likely, a lazy person is not lazy in only one area. A lazy person is probably lazy across the board . . . lazy in work, lazy in love, lazy in fun, and lazy in serving God. Usually, a lazy person is a boring person and has little or nothing to offer to an intelligent conversation. A lazy person's quality of life is dull because it is paralleled to his or her own laziness.
Our society has contributed a great deal to our laziness. Our blessings have provided us with the curse of laziness. There is no wood to cut, no water to draw, no fields to tend, no pigs to feed, no eggs to gather and no cotton to pick. There is no more walking to school, mowing lawns for cash, recycling soda bottles or delivering newspapers. There is no longer a need to get up to change the television channel. Taking the time and energy to
write a personal letter to a friend is a thing of the past.
Laziness is a sin and must be dealt with just as any other sin. The quickest way to rid laziness from your life is to begin doing something constructive. The more you work, the more you will become accustomed to working, and the laziness will soon depart.
Gluttony: Is Gluttony a Sin?
Gluttony is the sin usually associated with overeating and over indulgence in alcohol. Please know that gluttony is not limited to just overeating or over drinking. Gluttony could be an overindulgence in anything... sex, shopping, watching sports, television, computer. (Proverbs 23:21, Deuteronomy 21:20, Matthew 11:19)
What, then, is GREED? How is it related to Gluttony? Greed is simply the accumulation of too much stuff. The sin of GREED could develop in the sickness of hoarding.
Hypocrisy: Is Being a Hypocrite a Sin?
Hypocrisy is pretending to be what one is not. The Greek word for “hypocrite” means “playing a part.” In the Greek plays, it was acceptable to pretend to be someone else by imitating their speech, mannerism, and character. However, when you deliberately pretend to be someone else when you are not in a drama, well then you are a hypocrite. Jesus had a lot to say about hypocrites especially the Pharisees who opposed Him. He said several times in the gospel of Matthew, “Woe, you hypocrites! Then he went on to remind them of what they were doing. What were they doing? They paraded their charitable deeds . They prayed and fasted publicly to win the praise of men. (Matthew 6:1-2, 5, 16). They sought to give the appearance of being godly, but they were actually blind to the truth of God.
Jealousy: Is Jealousy a Sin?
Here I will talk about jealousy, envy and covetness together as I explain the slight difference. Jealousy is the most common term used to described someone’s resentment.... Envy is a feeling of resentment toward another person because of his possessions or good qualities. The Bible warns us in Romans 13:13 and I Peter 2:1 to guard against the sin of envy.
COVETOUSNESS is closely akin to jealousy. Covetousness is intense desire to possess something that belongs to another person. “Thy shall not covet” is one of the Ten Commandments. It also lists examples of things you should not covet. So, to distinguish covetousness from envy, let’s look at it this way. Covetousness is having a burning desire for what someone else has whereby ENVY is resenting the person for having it. Do you see now what one of the Ten Commandment is “Do not covet”? Because if you covetousness (the desire ) leads to envy (the attitude of resentment ).
Where does jealousy fit in? Jealousy is the umbrella under which envy and covetousness fall. Being jealous is the general act of wishing you had what someone else had, but it hasn’t escalated into the burning desire of covetousness or the attitude of resentment of envy.
Gossip: Is Gossip a Sin?
Gossip is the sin of spreading rumors or fruitless tales. Paul described some of the early believers as “not only idle but gossipers (1 Timothy 5:13). Jesus said, “For every idle word men may speak, they will give account for it in the day of judgment.” (Matthew 12:36)
There is something quite interesting about the sin of gossiping. The person who listens to gossip is held more accountable than the person who is telling it. Why is that so? That is so because if you did not listen, then the gossip would stop. When you listen it encourages the one who is gossiping to continue. If no one listened, the gossiping would stop. Also, when you hear gossip, it gets down into your spirit and affects your relationship with
the person being gossiped about. To be on the safe side, do not gossip, and do not listen to gossip.
According to the Jewish laws found in the Book of Leviticus, which is worse: the person who listens to gossip or the person who tells it? You might be surprised to know that according to the Book of Leviticus that the person who listens to gossip is even worse than the person who tells it. Why? Even though they both are forbidden by the scriptures, no harm could be done by gossip if no one listened to it.
Listening to gossip gives it the power to continue. If we refuse to listen to gossip, it would die instantly. But to listen to gossip is to help stab a person with a sharp-edged sword. It is said that gossip kills three: the person who speaks it, the person who hears it, and the person about whom it is told. Let's stop killing people with our mouths and with our ears!
Much harm can be done through one's speech. The harm is worse than stealing or cheating someone financially because amends can be made for monetary harms, but the harm done by speech can never be repaired. It is like opening a pillow full of feathers on a windy day on the top of a mountain. You can no more make amends for the damage your words have done than you can collect all the feathers and put them back into the pillow.
So, let's watch our language, and let's stop gossip in its tracks by refusing to listen to it!