Sin Behind Stained Glass

The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed, ‘O God, I thank you that I’m not like other people – thieves, dishonest people, adulterers, or even this tax collector’.  ~ Luke 18:11

I’ve been reading some blogs of wounded souls tonight. It’s caused me, first, to carefully examine my heart and then to take another look at life in the contemporary faith-based community. The trend of comparison shopping sins is age-old, but it seems to be gathering momentum.

In general terms, it goes something like this: it’s worse to be a murderer than a rapist; it’s worse to a rapist than a prostitute; it’s worse to be a prostitute than a divorcee; it’s worse to be a divorcee than an adulterer; it’s worse to be an adulterer than an addict; it’s worse to be an addict than to be deceitful; it’s worse to be deceitful than to be a glutton; it’s worse to be a glutton than a gossip; it’s worse to be a gossip than vain; it’s worse to be vain than self-righteous; it’s worse to be self-righteous than foolish; it’s worse to be foolish than whatever it is we are/do in the hidden places of our heart. And if it’s in the hidden places of our heart, then 1. it isn’t so bad (in comparison) and 2. if it doesn’t’ show, we pretend it doesn’t grow.

Individual categories are also broken down. Addictions: it’s worse to be addicted to drugs than to alcohol; worse to be addicted to gambling than to pornography; worse to be addicted to food than to exercise; worse to be addicted to shopping than to sports; worse to be addicted to TV than to the internet.

‘O God, I thank you that I’m not like other people… If I allow myself, even for a single moment to think: At least I haven’t… At least I’m not like…  I’ve just taken my place with the Pharisee.

Sin isn’t relative. Sin is sin. It’s missing the holiness mark. It doesn’t matter if it’s by a mile or a millimeter. Grace is necessary in equal measure. So is humility. Those of us who live in stained glass houses, shouldn’t throw stones. Ever.

Author: Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

16 thoughts on “Sin Behind Stained Glass”

  1. I’m with Susie. But I say, “AMEN” about a hundred times! That was excellent, and I agree 100%. When I sin, it is my sin, and I can’t compare it to anyone else’s sin.

    1. Susie – thanks! I’ve been reading some comments from Christians (on other blogs) who don’t believe you ever sin if you’re really saved. How I wish… I’m afraid I’m in Paul’s boat – chief among sinners.
      ~ Debbie

    1. cd – Isn’t it though. It’s like my intolerance of intolerance… whoa
      That’s enough to get me off on the wrong road, even with the marker still in view.
      ~ Debbie

  2. Sin is sin . . .yes it is! It leaves no time to look around and compare, as I need to stay focused on Him and what He is showing me about sin in my life. Thank you for helping us put our rocks down gently today. God bless you and the revelations He sends us through you!

  3. Oh, I like Katharine’s comments. So true, so true. And, Debbie, I like you calling them “stained-glass houses”. I will surely have to use that from now on. So well said, as usual. And something that needs to be said over and over until we (the church) get it.

    1. Debby – I wrote it, in part, to remind myself that even though I can’t go to church, I still am ‘the church’. You know what I mean. 😉
      And if I’m ‘the church’, I’d better be reflection of the love of the One who owns the house!
      ~ Debbie

  4. Preach, Girl! Always love your thoughtful insights, Deb, but this has got to be one of my favorites. I feel like I got a real churchin this mornin! Now I can go face the day.

    Blessings,

    Ruth

  5. Amen! I think this is why Jesus compared sin to leprosy–how much of it is okay? Would you be okay with a tiny patch of it on your tiny finger? A mere spot of it behind your ear?
    If your best friend had it, (just a bit) would you let her hold your children on her lap or feed them or sleep in their bed?
    It is so important to see the sights you’ve shown us, in this post. Thanks.

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