Palliating My Sin and Yours Is a Grievous Activity

I know I don't mean to do it as often as I do. And I'm sure no one else does (or, at least I hope not). But we all do it more than we should, and even once is more than enough. What is it? It, is our tendency to palliate, that is, lessen the severity of, without remedying—our sins and the sins of others—particularly those who sin similarly to us. And if we happen to like them, their sins aren't as bad as others, or even worse, we choose to be blind to their sins altogether.

This is truly a grievous activity.

How do we do it? Well, I'm not going to presume upon how others might do it, but I sure know how I do it. And it's often subtle because it's cloaked in the worldly definition of love. The love that says, "I'm okay, you're okay" therefore never does or says anything that might make you dislike or reject me. So, when I see you sin, and especially if it's a sin similar to mine, I might say something like, "Oh, well...none of us are perfect." Or if I want to throw a dash of false humility in this brew of sin I'm concocting, I might even add, "After all, I've done (or am doing) the same thing."

Now, there's absolutely nothing wrong with admitting a sin and making a connection with whomever I'm speaking with. What's wrong is that I stop there. I don't do what I know I is right (James 4:17) and therefore, I sin...again.

If I'm truly living Ephesians 4:29 and cared more about the Lord and your relationship with Him (than I care about your relationship with me), I wouldn't stop after I confessed committing the same sin. After noting this mutual weakness in the flesh, I would say, "We both need to repent and be grateful for God's forgiveness in Christ Jesus. And if we're truly grateful for His grace, we'll both commit to write God's Word on our hearts concerning this matter so we don't keep sinning against Him. Will you keep me accountable?" Then I would immediately begin looking up Scriptures to strengthen us so we might not sin like this again. Moreover, I would pray that the Lord would write His Word on our hearts (Ps 119:10-11, 24).

If I truly love the LORD my God, I will love what He loves and hate what He hates. If I truly love Jesus, though I may never be sinless on this side of Heaven, I will aspire not be a repeat offender of the same crime.

So, if you ever catch me involved in this sinful activity of palliating my sin and yours, please rebuke me. Please remind me that this wicked attempt to make us both more comfortable about our sins is what caused our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to leave His heavenly throne, descend into His own creation, be abused and crucified, and rise on the third day, so we might escape the wrath of God and receive forgiveness for our sins and inherit eternal life.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to live in the putrid cesspool of my sins. I want to live in the glorious new life Jesus died to give me—the life of a daughter of the Most High God, washed clean, and dressed in the robe of Christ's righteousness.

"The LORD is my portion; I promise to keep [treasure] Your words. I entreat Your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to Your promise. When I think on my ways, I turn my feet to Your testimonies; I hasten and do not delay to keep [protect] Your commandments."
~Psalm 119:57-60 (ESV)