Beware All Manner of Sin
By Steph Nickel
What type of sin does God warn against? According to the Bible, we should watch out for all manner of sin, including those of thought and word.
All Manner Of Sin
In Romans 1:29-31 we find a list of behaviours and attributes that God warns against:
“all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.”
Wow! Does this give us something to think about!
When we think of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, etc., there are extremes that likely pop to mind immediately, but we must not miss those three little words before the list: “all manner of.”
Actions, Words and Thoughts
It makes me think of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:21-28. He was teaching on anger and lust. He taught listeners that not only are our actions important but also our words and thoughts. One may not commit murder, but who among us hasn’t been angry with another person? And while we may have never been unfaithful to our spouse, when we honestly examine our thought life, we may very well have “committed adultery in our heart.”
We have to be on the lookout for “all manner of” sin in thought, word, and deed.
No matter how much or little we have, covetousness and envy are real dangers.
Contentment- Be Thankful
First Timothy 6:6 says that “godliness with contentment is great gain.”
Contentment . . . that’s a surefire way to beat covetousness and envy. We must be on guard against thoughts and statements such as “I’ll be happy when . . .” “I’ll be satisfied when . . .” “I’ll be content when . . .”
A great way to become increasingly content is to deliberately thank the Lord for what we do have rather than focusing on what we don’t. And chances are, if we’re not content now, we won’t be content when we get whatever it is we’re longing for.
I realize there are many who don’t even have the basic necessities, but some of those individuals have learned what really matters. In fact, some of them are more content than the rest of us. Food for thought!
Maliciousness Can Bring Strife
There are all kinds of strife. And I know, from personal experience, how it can have long-lasting effects on a person. My parents often didn’t get along when I was growing up, and to this day, I still tense up when I hear others being unkind to one another and saying hurtful things, even if they’re people I don’t know.
There were far too many times when I said hurtful and unkind things to my children when they were young, but thanks to God’s great grace, we are a close knit family and my three enjoy texting, Skyping, and spending time with us—even though the miles separate us from our two sons and soon-to-be daughter-in-law.
Just like covetousness and envy, other items on this list are closely related. Take strife and maliciousness for instance. Often strife occurs when one person says or does something malicious to another person. Google defines malicious this way: “intending . . . to do harm.” If one person intends to do harm to another in word or deed, of course, strife will occur.
Live Peaceably With All
Even in our home and church, this is too often the case. We must be on guard and do what we can “to live peaceably with all,” as it says in Romans 12:18.
We’ve only gone over approximately half the list. We are also warned against these things: gossip, slanderer, hatred of God, insolence, haughtiness, boastfulness, inventing ways of doing evil, disobedience to parents, foolishness, faithlessness, heartlessness, and ruthlessness.
I am not a fan of focusing on what is dark and evil in the world—or in myself—but it would be great to talk about each of these items from a biblical perspective and then talk about how God enables us to overcome.
Examine Our Hearts and Teach our Children
We also must remember—and teach our children—that it doesn’t come as any surprise to God even when we’re shocked to realize that we struggle with one or more of these traits. It’s hard for us to imagine, but our Heavenly Father actually sees all Christians through Jesus’ sacrifice. He sees us as sinless, which does not give us license to disregard sinful behaviour, but it does give us encouragement and hope that He will enable us to do better.
Let’s be careful to honestly examine our own heart, mind, and life. Let’s teach our children to do the same. But most of all, let’s thank the Lord that despite our inability to overcome on our own—and none of us can—there is forgiveness because Jesus paid the price for our sin. Plus, as believers in Him, we have the ability to overcome because God sends His Holy Spirit to live within all members of His family.
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