Whenever my 3 year old Reese gets in trouble he says, “But mommy it was just a little one”. He tries to categorize his offenses from great to small because he feels that if it was just a small offense than the punishment will be “just a little one.” Adults really aren’t too much more mature in life when it comes to getting caught with “our hand in the candy jar.” We too like to justify our inadequacies and failures into categories in order to make ourselves feel better or to look better to others. The sad thing that I have observed and noticed about human nature is that we try much harder to win over the graces and positive opinions of people in our social circles than we try to make God pleased with us. This can manifest itself in many forms. Oftentimes we will follow rules and traditions that we don’t agree with just so that others in our church will think we are on the right path. We will do this with a negative and bitter spirit without ever questioning how this affects our walk with God and our example to non-believers. On the other side of the coin, instead of trying to impress our fellow church goers, we will try to be something that we are not at work so that people there will accept us and think we are “one of them”.
The Bible says in James 4:17 ” Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”(KJV) This scripture really puts the pressure on us to do what is right regardless of what our church family or secular contacts think about us. If I feel that something in my life is a weight or a sin, it is my responsibility to deal with it. Forget about the opinion of others. If you know it is right or wrong, follow your moral conscience because only you will be judged for the actions that you take. Just like Reese likes to minimize his shortcomings, we oftentimes try to hide things in our lives from ourselves and from others. There are no little sins and big sins in the kingdom of God. You are either doing what you know is good and right, or you’re not.
All it takes is one little crack in a bowl for all of it’s positive contents to leak out. Plug the hole in your life and begin living by the code of conduct that you know to be right and true. Don’t worry about the judgements and criticisms of others. Life is summarized by the content of your choices and actions, not by a journalist giving you two thumbs up or down. Stop worrying so much about what people think of you and concentrate on what God thinks of you.