Where I work (as a help desk agent), we don’t say that customers have “problems”, we say they have “issues” or maybe “concerns”. I guess the thought is that it sounds better and makes everyone feel better – maybe issues are easier to deal with? I’m not sure sometimes when I’m having to troubleshoot these “issues”. And somehow that famous phrase from Apollo 13 just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
I got to thinking about this (too much time on my hands between help desk calls) and realized how – Christians and non-Christians alike – avoid calling “sin” by its name. I guess it makes us feel better if we have “issues” instead of “problems”. I know I’m bad about “justifying” my actions by putting them in a different, less threatening light, especially if they don’t “affect anyone else but me” (how many times has that lie been abused?) Maybe we get scared by the “wages of sin are death” and try to make sure we aren’t under that sentence. But this doesn’t change the fact that ANY sin is a problem; there really isn’t such a thing as a “little sin”. And all this pretty much makes the sacrifice that Jesus made pretty much moot or a big waste at best. I’m pretty sure that it doesn’t sit well to say that Jesus died for my “issues”.
Charles Spurgeon had this to say on the subject:
BEWARE of light thoughts of sin. At the time of conversion, the conscience is so tender, that we are afraid of the slightest sin. Young converts have a holy timidity, a godly fear lest they should offend against God. But alas! very soon the fine bloom upon these first ripe fruits is removed by the rough handling of the surrounding world: the sensitive plant of young piety turns into a willow in after life, too pliant, too easily yielding. It is sadly true, that even a Christian may grow by degrees so callous, that the sin which once startled him does not alarm him in the least. By degrees men get familiar with sin. The ear in which the cannon has been booming will not notice slight sounds. At first a little sin startles us; but soon we say, “Is it not a little one?” Then there comes another, larger, and then another, until by degrees we begin to regard sin as but a little ill; and then follows an unholy presumption: “We have not fallen into open sin. True, we tripped a little, but we stood upright in the main. We may have uttered one unholy word, but as for the most of our conversation, it has been consistent.” So we palliate sin; we throw a cloak over it; we call it by dainty names. Christian, beware how thou thinkest lightly of sin. Take heed lest thou fall by little and little. Sin, a little thing? Is it not a poison? Who knows its deadliness? Sin, a little thing? Do not the little foxes spoil the grapes? Doth not the tiny coral insect build a rock which wrecks a navy? Do not little strokes fell lofty oaks? Will not continual droppings wear away stones? Sin, a little thing? It girded the Redeemer’s head with thorns, and pierced His heart! It made Him suffer anguish, bitterness, and woe. Could you weigh the least sin in the scales of eternity, you would fly from it as from a serpent, and abhor the least appearance of evil. Look upon all sin as that which crucified the Saviour, and you will see it to be “exceeding sinful.” (Romans 7:13)
The gist of this to me is that it’s the little things that we ignore that cause us problems. A good friend describes it as being knocked off course little by little until finally we are going the opposite direction. Let’s not be sidetracked: let’s admit that we are sinners in need of grace (which Jesus offers freely) and ask for forgiveness and truly repent of our sins. No more issues 😄