Our human tendencies never cease to amaze me. Or I suppose I should say that God’s holiness never ceases to amaze me. When we consider our sin, often times we rank it in the order of how bad, or how grievous, the sin is. Certainly, murdering someone is worse than bearing false witness (or lying) right? And I’m sure you’d agree that committing adultery is far worse than coveting what someone else has. The thing is, God doesn’t really see things that way. In fact, to God, breaking any of his commandments as sin. And even if we break one of what we may consider a lesser sin, he finds us just as guilty as if we broke one of the greater sins. James 2:10-11 puts it this way.
"For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, 'Do not commit adultery,' also said, 'Do not murder.' If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker."
It is our human tendency to rank the grievousness of our sin. But the bible teaches us that if we are struggling with any sin, it is as if we are guilty of breaking all of it. We are labeled a “lawbreaker”. In God’s eyes, all sin is disobedience to his commands. So, I encourage you, if you are sinning in an area that you justify by saying that it isn’t as bad as another sin, God still looks at your actions as breaking the law. You are just as guilty as if you committed murder or adultery. With a perspective like that, it should help us to remember that any sin, is disobedience in God’s eyes.
Remember that God doesn’t rank our sin in order of bad to worse. To him, sin is sin. That may sound unreasonable, or extreme, but God is holy. No sin can enter his presence; not murder and not lying. All sin is separation from God. There is a silver lining to this principle though. If we consider sin the way God considers sin, it should lessen our tendency to want to judge others. If someone in the church has an exposed sin like getting pregnant out of wedlock, or adultery that has come to light and the whole world seems to know about it, remember that sin is sin. You yourself may have sinned by harboring anger in your heart against your brother, for example. Or maybe you’ve pirated music off of the internet. We may think these actions aren’t as grievous as what we learn about our brother or sister in the church, but God would beg to differ. God doesn’t rank order sin, and neither should we.