“Everything they do is done for people to see…
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!
You clean the outside of the cup and dish,
but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.”
Matthew 23:5, 25 (NIV)
I do not think we should make categories for sin and say that this one is not really too bad or that sin is just a little one.
To my mind people who try and downplay any particular sin and suggest it is not significant is like the cancer patient saying, “Well, my cancerous tumour is just a little one.”
However small it may be, cancer is cancer and we are infinitely better off never to have any whatsoever. Do you see my point?
Regard sin the same way you do cancer, and you will grow in grace. Any bit of sin—regardless of how small it is or what category of sin it is—is far too much to willingly endure.
To explain my title, I point you to Matthew 23:13-34. This is clearly one of the most graphic scenes in the Gospels that display the wrath of our Lord against sin. The sin He denounces so strongly in Matthew is the sin of hypocrisy. Jesus was very upset with religious leaders who were one thing on the outside and something very different inside.
This sin of hypocrisy disturbs Jesus greatly. We need to exercise great care in case we are caught in some form of hypocrisy. We need to behave exactly the same at home as we behave in church. Our behaviour at work or school should be just how we behave when with our friends.
My father was offended by a Christian businessman whose behaviour at church was very different from his way of acting at work. At work he used foul language and demonstrated a terrible temper. He was dishonest in his business dealing with my father and that caused my dad to forsake church for some years. My dad knew he behaved more like a Christian than the businessman.
We as Christians need to be so careful about our way of living between Sundays. Strive for consistency in everything. Live so that no one would be surprised to discover that you are a Christian. Never forget that the Lord’s watchful eye sees you at all times. Live so that He will be pleased and able to say to you some day,
“Well done good and faithful servant, enter the joy of your Lord.”