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A Small Thing

July 13, 2009

That is how it often starts. Maybe it continues with, “They owe you” or “They have more than they need.” So you take it and that is where it starts. Unfortunately you either deal with it then or it gets bigger. You start to take more, because they still owe you or it is still small or they still have more than enough.

Have you ever heard that voice?


“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3

The writer of Hebrews says that sin entangles us. Those little moments when that voice says no one will know or no one will get hurt or they owe you, they slow us down. They entangle us and hinder our progress. They start small and usually lead to something big.

The governor of South Carolina probably understands this. He shared in an interview with the Associated Press that he had had several inappropriate relationships but never crossed “that” line until he did so with a close personal friend from Argentina. I’m guessing that he started with small things long before any of the relationships that he identified as inappropriate.

I’m guessing it started with flirting or spending some personal time with another woman. All harmless small things I’m sure.

Unfortunately the church is often unable to cope with these situations. No, not because we don’t know that they are wrong. No, often because we don’t appreciate what is happening. I know of to many Christians who are only concerned with whether or not they can be forgiven of sin instead of worrying that what looks like a small sin may actually entangle them.

I have known too many Christians who can identify a list of dos and don’ts who don’t realize the danger they are being protected from. Who don’t see that these “small” sins can slow their progress and in the end derail their lives?

The writer of Hebrews says focus on Jesus. How many of these small sins would we be willing to commit, willing to explain away, if we looked at Jesus hanging on the cross to carry them?

It is too easy to simply thinking about whether or not we can be forgiven instead of seeing the snare that sin can become.

God bless.

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