Minimizing Sin

009-female-covered-mouth-165x208What kind of words do you use to describe your own sin? It’s easy enough to “call it like it is” when someone else is in the wrong, but things are different when I’m talking about myself. I’m talking about sin euphemisms. Euphemisms? You mean like, “Oh my stars” or “sakes alive”? Well, not exactly. While it’s definitely a good idea to stay away from euphemisms for inappropriate language, the euphemisms we use for sin can be just as damaging and infinitely more subtle. Consider the following sin euphemisms:

  • I’m really struggling right now with ____________.
  • I made some really stupid choices when I was younger.
  • My wife and I are having some communication problems.
  • I have a weakness for spending too much on _____________.
  • I slipped up the other day when I _____________.

The list could go on and on. And while it is not wrong to say that we need to struggle against sin, that it exposes a weakness, or that it creates some problems, using these words to describe our sinful choices can mask what is truly happening in our hearts.Truth be told, we often soften the sound of sin because we are too proud to face the music, and as we’ve seen before, that can be pretty blinding.

Compare the words you use to describe your sin to the ones we find in the Scriptures: “wickedness” (Jeremiah 17:9), “idolatry” (Colossians 3:5), “uncleanness” (Isaiah 6:5), “lusts” (James 4:1ff), etc. A whole host of other arresting words describe specific sins, and we shouldn’t overlook the axiom, “Let’s call sin sin!”

When you can call sin what it is, you can confess it to God and rejoice in the fact of forgiveness: “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7, emphasis mine). So let’s call sin sin and experience the grace that God gives to the humble who trust in the power of Christ’s blood.

3 Responses

  1. Good article, Jake.

    “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper, but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13)

  2. Oh, that we as Christians could learn to be that honest and transparent. It would not only change our lives, but those around us as well!!

    Great article to read and think on, but an even greater challenge to try live it out in my daily life.

    Thank you ~

  3. So true, Jake. In my work, people often refer to gross sin as “a poor choice,” “a mistake.” I point out that a mistake is what we call it when we make errors in balancing our checkbooks. What we choose to do that displeases God and hurts people is sin.

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