It's All Relative ... Or Is It?

Here we are ... moving toward the end of January and mired in a good old fashioned cold snap. Our temperature this morning just before sunup was 9 degrees (F.). Even now at midday, we have yet to crack into the twenties! Now ... there are some up in Minnesota who would probably scoff at these temps being considered "cold." For example, at International Falls, MN it is currently -9 degrees (F.) after bottoming out at -30 degrees overnight. But even these temperatures fail to compete with the conditions at the summit of New Hampshire's Mt. Washington where right now it is a frigid -30 degrees. Add the 53 mph winds and the wind chill is a down right frightening 75 degrees BELOW ZERO! Now that ... without argument is COLD!

So ... when I say it's cold here ... compared to what's happening elsewhere .. it might not be very cold at all to someone else (especially if that "someone else" lives in south Florida, where a temperature below fifty is considered "cold!").

And so .. our perception of the weather is relative, dependent upon our perspective. I have no problem with this. But what I do have a problem with is when we take this view of "relativity" and start applying it in the arena of sin. In doing so, we tend to categorize our sin. The sins of adultery, murder and child abuse we view as horrible. On the other hand, the sins of gossip, greed and impatience are sins that we can live with. After all, we are humans ... and to err is human!

But is this how God views sin? Does he group our sin into unacceptable vs. acceptable sins? Is there such a thing as an "acceptable" sin? Before you answer that last question with an emphatic "no!" (which is, by the way, the correct answer according to the Bible), you may want to take a long hard look at your own life. Author Jerry Bridges a few years ago came out with the book, Respectable Sins. As you take that "long hard look" at your life, use his list of "respectable" sins as guide. If you find any of these in your life (which I would guess that you will), then repent ... confess ... and ask God to help you get rid of them! You will be better for it!

Bridges' list: frustration, anxiety, impatience, irritability, anger, discontentment, pride, unthankfulness, selfishness, lack of self control, judgmentalism, envy, jealousy, worldliness. 

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