Freedom from Sin, Day 3

Comparing Sin

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Matthew 7:1-5 NIV

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10 NIV

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Romans 3:23 NIV

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV

Don’t judge someone just because they sin differently than you. — Anonymous 

We’ve touched on what sin is, why we do it, and how to stop the cycle of sin. Today’s topic is sure to challenge us because most people fall into the trap of comparing their sins to someone else’s. 

Let’s take lying as an example. Everyone has lied at some point in their lives. Some lies appear to be huge and bordering betrayal, while others are a little bit more on the  “no big deal” side. We think that our small lie that doesn’t seem to affect anyone is not that big of a deal. But, the person who betrayed their spouse, well, that’s a huge lie. And we smugly think, “I’m so glad I’m not like him or her.”

This mindset is inaccurate and far from biblical. We read in Romans 3:23, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” (NLT) In essence, we’ve all missed the mark. Regardless if we miss it by a little or a lot, it does not measure up to God’s perfection. 

This revelation isn’t to shame us—it’s to set us free! Free from the trap of looking around at others and thinking we are superior to them. If we’re continually comparing ourselves with others, then the standard will always be a moving target. Some days we may feel like the best person on earth compared to someone else’s actions, while on other days, we’re discouraged because someone is making better choices than we are. 

The standard, or mark, we must hold ourselves to is God’s perfection. If we strive to follow Him and obey Him with our whole being, then we will get closer to His standard. This is a lifelong pursuit for the Christ follower. When we keep our eyes on Jesus, we will be more likely to want to better ourselves instead of looking around at others. 

Striving to follow and obey God has nothing to do with earning more of His love. God’s love is already secure for the Christ follower. There isn’t anything we can do to make Him love us more than He already does. But, choosing to honor and follow Him, even when it’s difficult, will result in the abundant life He promised to us while we exist on this earth.  

Reflect

  • Do you find that you compare your sins with the sins of others? Why or why not?
  • Think of a sin you have committed or regularly commit that seems small compared to the “big” sins of other people. Confess it to God and ask for His help to focus on your own life instead of others.

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