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First Thoughts

Six Ordinary Sins

Are you a good person? Our initial gut reaction to this question most likely is to answer in the affirmative. We may even think to ourselves, “Of course I’m a good person! I haven’t killed anyone or robbed a bank, and I don’t cheat on my taxes.” Oftentimes, we look at a list like this as “evidence” to convince ourselves that we are, in fact, a good person.

However, upon deeper reflection, we may find that our positive self-evaluation does not match reality. We are sinners who still live in a sinful world where we give in to temptation and do wrong. And if we find ourselves giving in to sin more often than not, we should pause to reassess our commitment to the Lord. Followers of Christ are called to holiness and away from iniquity. Therefore, the believer must battle against sin and turn away from temptation. Yet, there are many who do not fight, and their actions make it seem as though some sins are acceptable.

We know that killing someone and robbing a bank is bad, and we would never do those things. But what about those common, everyday sins? You know, those “ordinary” sins we allow to be a part of our lives and do not do much about. The truth is that there are sins we are either unaware of or sins that are not a big concern to us. These sins often fly under the radar because we think they are just part of our personality, or we say things like, “That’s just who I am.” But under biblical evaluation, we come to see these issues for what they are, as rebellion against a holy God. So what are some of these common, “ordinary,” everyday sins? Even though this list could be long, I will mention only six.

  1. Control

It might be humorous to be identified as a “control freak,” but it is a real problem. We might think to ourselves, “I have to have control or else fill in the blank,” or, “Things must happen my way, or I’ll lose it.” This boils down to a desire to be God, to have control over the things that only God controls. Yet this sin is acceptable since many people are willing to fight for control rather than submit to the plan of God.

  1. Love of Comfort

Now, there is nothing wrong with being comfortable, but we can allow our desire for comfort to outweigh our desire to do what is right. So, we end up hitting the snooze button more than we should or purchasing the boat instead of giving to the church, or we are not completely honest on the expense report about that business trip. These types of decisions make our efforts toward being comfortable sinful.

  1. People Pleasing

This is when we care about what others think of us more than what God thinks. Fear of man is seen when we end up not doing the right thing or doing something we know is wrong just to impress someone else or gain their approval. This can take place with your boss, your friends, or with that not-so-honest social media post that makes you look really good.

  1. Anger

We can think of anger as having a spectrum that encompasses words like impatience, frustration, and irritability. As you can see, there is a wide spectrum when it comes to this sin, and there are many who struggle in this area. It has been said that everyone has an anger problem to one degree or another because anger is the result of not getting what we want, in the way we want it, at the time we want it (James 4:1-3). This is to think that we are most important rather than God being most important.

  1. Lack of Self-Control

Self-control is listed in Galatians 5 as one of the fruit of the Spirit, which means that to be self-controlled is really to be controlled by and submissive to the Holy Spirit. So, to lack self-control is to rebel against the Spirit’s leading in your life. This can show up in something as small as that unnecessary extra scoop of ice cream or that “innocent” peek at that porn website.

  1. Discontentment and Ingratitude

The Bible makes it very clear that we are always to be thankful for everything (Ephesians 5:20) because everything we have and everything we are is from the Lord. This means that for us to express discontentment and ingratitude is to say that God is not good and that what he has given is not good enough or that somehow what he has done is wrong.

I hope this short discussion lets you know that there really are no “ordinary” sins but that we have allowed certain sins to be acceptable to us. We might have an intellectual agreement that they are bad, but we do not think they are bad enough to really do anything about them. What can be done about these corrosive, “ordinary” sins? You can find out more in the class “Overcoming Ordinary Sins” at First Baptist Midweek.

The ultimate answer is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the greatest expression of the love of God whereby he sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10). And because he loved us so greatly, we are to greatly love him in return (4:19). It is when we love God and desire to please him above all else that we will see these “ordinary” sins begin to diminish in our lives to the glory of God!

To learn more about how to come to Midweek, visit our website here. You can also download the First Baptist Church App to watch/listen to previous and current Midweek Courses!

Ryan Trzeciak (DMin, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) serves First Baptist Church as the Director of First Counseling.

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