Little Sins, Big Sins

avalanche sign
Photo credit: <a href="">Paul Downey</a>

1 John 5:13-17

I’m writing to you who’ve embraced Jesus, God’s child, so you’ll know that life is forever yours. It’s a confidence that comes from being related to God. If we ask for anything, God hears, and we have confidence that God will provide.

If you see a brother or sister committing an infraction – one that’s not lethal – pray for him or her. God will restore life to those whose infractions aren’t lethal. There are lethal errors, though, and I’m not talking about praying for those. Any unjust action is an infraction, but not all infractions are lethal.

Some like to say that “a sin is a sin is a sin,” and “whose to say one sin is worse than another?”

John’s letter implies that not all sin is equal. Not all violations of justice are the same, John says, because there is a difference in how much harm is done. Some, in fact, are lethal. Some are possible to overcome by prayer (but see that John has also defined prayer as action). Others, John thinks, are beyond hope.

Perhaps one of the worst kinds of mistakes is mixing up which kind of sin is which. Some people (and some churches) make mountains out of molehills, while ignoring much more serious matters. Perhaps it’s because it’s easier to focus on molehills than to climb mountains. Still, nobody ever died of a molehill. People do die in avalanches.