A young man I visited in jail the other day shared with me how he used to go to church and pray and study his bible and then go smoke a joint now and then. “It’s just a little sin, I told myself.”
I knew what he meant, and told him so. I remember the days not too many years ago when I would assure myself that all my Christian service and time of devotion would offset my “little sin” of satisfying the lusts of my heart. I was convinced that my spiritual life wasn’t too bad apart from this “one little black spot” that existed. If I could just rid myself of this one habit then all would be perfect.
So I thought. The problem with thinking that “just a little sin” doesn’t really matter is that it’s a lie. It spoils the whole batch.
Jesus talks about how the eyes are a lamp to the body, and how if the eye is bad the whole body is in darkness (Luke 11:34). Not just a “small black spot” but the whole body is in darkness.
Paul warns us to be watchful because “just a little leaven will spoil the whole batch” (Gal. 5:9). His teaching on being part of the body of Christ, where we are reminded that “when one part suffers, every part suffers” (1 Cor. 12:26) I think applies to us as individuals, too. When one room in our heart is sick, the whole house is contaminated.
Song of Songs warns that it’s the little foxes that spoil the vine (2:15). Charles Spurgeon, preaching from this text, said,
A little thorn may cause much suffering. A little cloud may hide the sun. Little foxes spoil the vines; and little sins do mischief to the tender heart. These little sins burrow in the soul, and make it so full of that which is hateful to Christ, that he will hold no comfortable fellowship and communion with us. A great sin cannot destroy a Christian, but a little sin can make him miserable. Jesus will not walk with his people unless they drive out every known sin.
I know this to be true. Those “little foxes” or “little sins” which we knowingly commit time and time again will spoil the whole batch, contaminate everything we touch, and most importantly offend a holy God. We cannot expect God to continue to strive with us when we continually make a mockery of the cross, knowingly returning to our vomit (Prov. 26:11, 2 Peter 2:22). When we do that we bear false witness against God’s word which declares that if anyone is truly in Christ they are a “new creation!” (2 Cor. 5:17).
What are the “little sins” in your life? None is too little, and none is too big to be redeemed by the blood of Christ. He is willing and able to set you free from all things and make you fully alive in himself. If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation. Behold, the old has gone, the new has come!