Mark Alan Williams
3 Acceptable Sins You Can Enjoy Today…Or NOT!
Bible believing Christians like me claim to live by the Book. We stand on the Word of God and defend it vigorously. But we practice “acceptable sins!”
Yet we find it easy to accept some practices the Bible clearly says are sin.
Here are 3 acceptable sins and what Scripture says about them:
This is certainly a favorite indoor sport for Bible believing Christians. A beloved “acceptable sin.” Juicy hurtful information drips from our lips like blood on a vampire’s lips.
I have heard pastors share damaging information about other pastors for no good reason. And I have sometimes participated and shared gossip myself.
What is gossip? My online dictionary says it is “casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.”
Perhaps the best working definition I have heard is “Talking about people’s problems with others who are neither part of the problem or the solution.”
But what is the difference between gossip and information or news? A great test is to ask “Is this something I would like shared about me behind my back, whether true or false?”
We gossip because tearing others down in front of others makes us feel superior. But in reality, it harms us.
Even if what we share is true, tearing others down is still gossip.
“A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.” (Proverbs 16:28 NIV)
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29 ESV)
“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” (James 1:26 ESV)
We live in a day of astounding luxuries. In times past, people didn’t even dream of:
Television and radio
Smart phones with Personal Assistants at our fingertips 24/7
Microwave ovens, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, and so on
Central heating and air conditioning
Eyeglasses, contacs and laser eye surgery
Surgeries to fix many parts of bodies and even replace joints and organs
Yet all of this is not enough. We want continually want more conveniences, toys and luxuries. Resources are hoarded while some lack food, clothing and shelter.
Worse yet, many are deprived of hearing about Jesus. Just this year about 30 million people will die without ever hearing the message of salvation through Jesus. Despite Christ’s command to evangelize, 67% of all humans from AD 30 to the present day have never even heard the name of Jesus Christ.
Is it wrong to earn money and obtain resources? Absolutely not! But it is wrong to hoard resources when so many are so needy.
What do the Scriptures say about greed?
“A greedy man stirs up strife, but the one who trusts in the Lord will be enriched.” (Proverbs 28:25 ESV)
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” (1 Timothy 6:10 ESV)
(Note, not money but the LOVE of money is the root of evil.)
“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5 ESV)
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24 ESV)
This is one of the acceptable sins that virtually no one talks about.
What is the sin of gluttony? Essentially it is putting desire and focus on food above desire for God and focus on Him. It is a violation of God’s commandment of having no other gods before Him.
It is making food one’s god. Therefore, one might be skinny as a beanpole and participate in the sin of gluttony, at least sporadically.
Practice gluttony long enough and it will certainly show on the outside.
By the way, part of the beauty of fasting is taking a potential food god and making a desire for Almighty God replace one’s desire for food. Certainly when we fast, we desire food. But we tame our desire to force ourselves to desire God more than food.
The Bible on Gluttony:
“Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.” (Proverbs 23:2)
“Envy, murders, drunkenness, gluttony, and such like, whereof I tell you before, as I also have told you before, that they which do such things, shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:21 GNV)
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (I Corinthians 10:31 ESV)
With Scripture so clear, why are these acceptable sins so acceptable?
1. Each represents the misuse of something good that God has created for us to enjoy:
But misuse is the problem.
Since they start with something acceptable and pleasurable, great maturity and personal discipline is required to stop ourselves when we step over the line.
2. It is difficult to discern when we have stepped over the line of misuse and therefore easy to overlook our sin.
Some other acceptable sins are more cut and dried: murder, stealing, lying, cursing and adultery. But these three require discernment.
Therefore, it is usually better to ask questions than make judgments about the behaviors of others.
We must ask God to give us the wisdom to know when we have sinned and the spiritual maturity to correct our behavior.