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.