I’m only human

Posted on February 10, 2016 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Gospel, Sanctification

A husband says to his wife that he is sorry for being insensitive. He says he has been under a lot of pressure lately. A mom says tells her kids she shouldn’t have yelled at them, but she is just very tired.

These “little” sins are justified because of some extenuating circumstance or unfair treatment by someone else. After a while these sins aren’t even seen as sins. They are conveniently placed in the category of being human.

Well, that is true as far as it goes. Being human means many things:

A person who is made in the image of God.
A person who has great value because he is an image-bearer of God.
A person who, with Adam, has embraced sin and tarnished that image.
A person who was born in sin.
A person who is guilty and unfit to stand before the holy God.
A person who is in need of the redeeming grace of Jesus Christ.

So, yes we are all human and all sinners. Therefore, being human is not an excuse, it is a death sentence.

One “little” sin betrays a heart of darkness. One “little” sin shows rebellion towards the holiness of God. One “little” sin leads to an acceptable excuse for that sin. Suppose Jesus had made the excuse of being tired and hungry when he was tempted to sin because he was only human. One “little” sin on his part would have lead to the immediate destruction of the human race.

So, you see, there are no little sins. There are only sins that will send you to hell.

This is why James says that, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” If you fall at one point you have missed the whole point of the law.

Parents, don’t teach your children that sin is excusable because of circumstances or poor treatment. Don’t offer excuse-making as atonement for sin. You don’t sin because you are tired, you sin because you don’t value the wonder of holiness.

One day your children will face a temptation that could ruin their lives. If they fall, saying that they are only human will be of little comfort. Knowing that Jesus forgives sin, any sin, provides hope: hope to deal with the consequences of sin and hope to endure the temptation.

You and your children need more than knowing you are a sinful human. You need the beauty of forgiveness for all of your sins, even the “little” ones.

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.