The Hierarchy of Sin
I hate to admit this. I don't want to believe that its true. I try so hard to refute its existence. Alas, I cannot.
We humans live under a hierarchy of sin. Granted this hierarchy is a construct of societal development, but still, we live under its pretenses. Some sins aren't considered real sins (like telling your grandma how much you love that Christmas sweater...again) and other sins are virtually unforgivable.
Christians run into a conundrum because we say that all sins are the same in God's eyes. I believe they are. He has this infinite perspective that I do not. But while we say that God views all sins the same we humans do not order our lives around this truth.
Our sins are either more palatable than our neighbors or theirs are worse than ours. We forgive those who hurt themselves much easier than we forgive those who hurt others. We either bond with those with whom we share a similar struggle or we jettison the people who we have failed so far from us that relationships go beyond severed - it is as if they were never relationships in the first place.
Sin is more complicated than any of us really know. It unhealthily connects us to others. It unhealthily disconnects us from others. Sin is always about people - plural. Sin will wreck your life but your life affects many others. And compound all the lives sin destroys and multiply it by the random connections of people throughout the world (via Facebook, of course) and you can catch just a glimpse at the ugliness.
And since we cannot possibly deal fully with the whole sin problem of every person, we humans have taken the task of building the Sin pyramid which governs our responses to certain types of sins and how they happen in regards to certain type of people. It is an elaborate structure indeed. One so sophisticated that it allows a normal person to lie to an officer about speeding in their car but condemns to public death a politician that would do the same.
Elaborate, indeed. And convenient enough that we all have used it to get our way into or out of trouble so many times it would be impossible to track.
This pyramid has allowed us to believe that we can control our sin problem. But at the end of the day we know that we are really believing a huge lie. A lie that has had humanity duped for many, many, many generations.
So as we live our days judging whether or not some sin is worth our scorn or deserves our turned blind eye, we regrettably engage our world with our stereotypes, judgementalism, and overall lack of grace toward our fellow man.
And there it is - grace.
The word that restores balance in this biased world.
You see the equal offering of grace to all people by Jesus puts us all on the same level. Grace says to all "You are forgiven. The nature of your crime doesn't matter." Grace must relieve us all from our right to judge, hold grudges, and see other's sin as worse than our own.
It is grace that screams to us "It's not about what you have done! It's about what Jesus wants to do with you!" Grace restores the equilibrium of "all men created equal". It is grace thats healthily connects us together. It is grace that healthily separates us from that which will destroy our soul.
So I urge you today to choose grace. God's grace. The grace of infinite perspective. The grace that saves us from ourselves. The grace that destroys the evilest pyramid scheme of all.