What are seven common sins that often get ignored by Christians? Which ones can you think of?
Bearing False Witness
We are still sinners, the Bible is very clear about this (1 John 1:8. 10), but we should not be bearing false witness to others. We can “stretch” the truth, but a half-truth is still a whole lie. I know I’ve done it, and I would imagine you have, too. I’ve been caught in a lie, and I’ve caught others in them, too. Most Christians repent of this and ask for forgiveness, but I also know a lady who claims to be a Christian and is a compulsive liar. This ought not be because this is one of the so-called seven deadly sins that God hates, and it includes being “a false witness who breathes out lies” (Prov. 6:19a), which is “a lying tongue” (Prov. 6:17).
This is one sin that God truly hates. It divides and destroys many churches and relationships, too. God says, “There are six things that the Lord hates [and] seven that are an abomination to him” (Prov. 6:16), including “one who sows discord among brothers” (Prov. 6:19b) because it destroys the unity which God is trying to create in the church. This was a huge problem within the Corinthian church, as Paul wrote that there should “be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10) because “a whisperer (gossiper) separates close friends” (Prov. 16:28b).
We might not be robbing banks, but we can leave work early; have someone clock us in or out; or steal pens, paper, and even paperclips from work. If we aren’t giving it our all at work, then we’re stealing from our employer, who pays us the wages for which they expect us to work. Paul admonishes those thieves of property and time: “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need” (Eph. 4:28). Paul rebuked the church at Rome by asking, “While you preach against stealing, do you steal” (Rom. 2:21)?
This is the only sin that is listed among the Ten Commandments that nobody can see. You can covet your neighbor’s spouse; you can covet their brand new car; you can covet their house; or you can even covet their job, status, or position in life. Coveting is the one sin that Paul apparently had trouble with, as he wrote, “Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet’ But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead” (Rom. 7:7-8). When you covet, you tell God, “God, I’m not satisfied with what I have–I want more.”
I hear this broken frequently by people who talk about their parents when they’re not there and even after they’ve passed away. Once again, I’ve done it, but I stopped. I repented of this. You can dishonor your parents even after you’re an adult by the way you talk to them, by the way you talk about them, and by the way you treat them (or mistreat them). This commandment is so important to God that He placed it first in the six commandments that are horizontal (human to human). This is the only commandment that promises a longer life if obeyed but a shorter life if not. This is not simply an Old Testament law, as Paul reiterated it in Ephesians 6:2-3, writing, “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Paul directly quoted Deuteronomy 5:16.
The Bible describes gluttony as sin, but most Christian’s would never approach someone about this in a million years. Maybe it’s because they fear a backlash from the person they come to, but gluttony does not always have to be about food. We can be gluttonous with food, clothing, movies, sports, the Internet, Facebook, Instagram, and self, devouring hours and hours of time while neglecting prayer and Bible study. Gluttony means you are always wanting more than what you need, so want always outweighs need, and need is never enough, so our addiction (to whatever it is) takes priority over a lot of good things in our life. Gluttony and idolatry are cousins.
Neglecting the Saints
This is a big problem in many churches. Recently, I visited a man who was in the hospital for a week and almost no one in his church knew it. He had pneumonia and was on a catheter, so I ask if there was anything I could do for him. He asked me to get his phone charger, some clean underwear, and his toothbrush and razor, so I ran to his apartment and came back, and asked if he had many visitors, and he turned to me and said, “You!” His own church members, once they all knew, never once visited him, and I could tell this hurt him. This neglect is sin because visiting the sick is a command of Christ (Matt 25:36), but very few Christians seem to understand that doing this for others is doing it for Him (Matt 25:40), or doing nothing at all for Him (Matt 25:42-43).
I used the Ten Commandments because every sin we can commit are contained within these ten. I could have also added putting others before God and taking God’s name in vain, but I would not expect Christians to openly do these sorts of things. Surely, we should not be lying to one another, we should not be gossiping about others, we should be giving an honest day’s work for an honest day’s wages, we shouldn’t be coveting what others have but be content with what we have, and we should be honoring our parents.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
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