In the past week, at least three of my friends have asked me whether or not I really believe that all sins are equal. It’s not that I don’t understand the question; I do. Which is worse — overeating at dinner or inflicting mortal harm on another? From an earthly perspective, the question makes sense. From a divine standpoint, it’s like saying “which stinky rag stinks most?”
All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
Who besides me has ever left a batch of laundry in the washer and forgot about them? Well, I didn’t forget for long. Soon, there was a stench emanating from my washer. Can you imagine me picking up each stinking rag to see which one smelled better than the other? It’s ludicrous. They all stink. Fabric and washer position likely cause a variation in stench, but you won’t find me smelling of them to find out! They all STINK.
With this in mind, I tackle the difficult question of is all sin equal. I would ask you, “Does it matter?” If you are trying to see how your life compares with another to see if your sin is better than theirs, then just remember that we are all filthy rags. The point is probably not so much that “sin is sin” but that sin in our lives separates us from God and makes us stink. Only God has the plan to “clean us up” so that he can reunite us with him. The difference between “clean” and “dirty” is not found in variation of stench but in the saving blood of Christ Jesus our Lord.
Dear God, help me stop worrying about everyone else’s sin and deal with my very real stench. It doesn’t matter whose sin is more or less in your eyes because we are all found as filthy rags.