“Non-unique” Sin

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man [humanity]. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 )

Homo sapiens like to be unique. We may all have two arms and two legs and a head that sticks out betwixt them, but each of us considers ourselves to be an individual. We talk about having different fingerprints, footprints, and genetic structures. So to be told we sin the same is a little humbling. One would think if each of us is different and original, we would sin in differing and original ways. But that is not the case. To modify an old experience, there is no new sin under the sun. And furthermore, there is no new sinning under the Son. Whether it be lust, greed, gluttony, dishonestly, falsehood, wrath, sloth, pride, envy, or rage, we all have in common the compulsion to sin. And none of us can escape the compulsion completely.

HOW we sin may be different, but WHAT we sin about is the same. But that is not all bad. Jesus did not come just to forgive and redeem some types of sin and not others. Jesus did not pick and chose what sins to forgive and what not to. Jesus did not differentiate between the big sins and the little sins, saying one is too big to forgive or too small not to bother with. And if we are all in the same sinning boat, no one can out boast or out humble another.

As to the second part of verse 13, that we will not be tempted beyond our endurance, I am not sure if that is still true and accurate for modern humanity. Sin may be sin not matter the time or the place; but modern society has taken the art of committing sins to a whole new level. As civilization and technology has advance, so has the ability for a person to commit an increasing level of sin. Just as we can travel farther, live longer, and learn more, we can sin with more efficiency and effectiveness. Having more to lust after and be greedy for, and be envious of: having more to be gluttonous with and be proud of: having more to lie about, be angry about, and avoid doing: the more there is to sin.

And to be quite honest I think we have past, as a society and civilization, the level of our temptation endurance. Even in the face of all this, God has a plan. And it is the same plan that the Lord had two thousand (plus or minus) years ago; Christ. And ‘plan Christ’ still works because . . . sinning has not really changed. That is, sin is still sin no matter when, how, or why we do it.

The issue of sin, as discussed here, may not seem like it pertains to the issue of peace; but the concept of shalom takes in all sorts of consideration. As has been pointed out in other places, shalom comes about when we are in right relationship with each other and with God. Sinning and right relationship cannot exist side by side. May you, gentle reader, avoid temptation through the support of each other and our Lord. And if temptation comes your way, may ‘plan Christ’ bring you back to right relationship and shalom. Selah!