Big or Little? — Lorraine Smith

Big or little? Large or small? Black or white? Does it really matter? Does it make a difference? Who cares?

The summer our son turned eight years old, he became very sick with high fever, chills, flu-like symptoms, unable to maintain his balance, severe headaches, nausea, and much more. He also had a rash on his stomach area. Here was this extremely active, never-stay-still eight year old and he was completely listless. He could barely move.

Naturally, we were off to our family doctor who also happened to be a good personal friend and our son’s soccer coach. We described all the symptoms. While the doctor was examining Michael, he told us to take his shoes off. My first thought was, “That’s strange.” Although when we did, we saw that the bottoms of his feet were scarlet red. They looked like they had been burned. Dr. Jenkins left the room. He returned quickly with his two associates and most of the nurses. All of us were crammed into a very small examination room. He told them the symptoms and showed them Michael’s feet. He asked if they knew what was wrong. No one guessed correctly. Finally, he said, “Michael has Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.”

Needless to say, we were stunned. How could this be? We had not found a tick on him. All we had ever heard about this sickness was you died from it. Dr. Jenkins explained that a tick did not have to set down and attach itself to give you spotted fever. All it had to do was bite you. He said that the tick could have been brushed away. How could a bite so very small make someone so sick? WE went through three weeks of different symptoms and ailments before Michael gained his strength back to be a normal eight year old once more. How could a bite so small cause so much havoc?

A little bite or a big bite. Does it matter? A large rain or a small shower? Does it make a difference? A little white lie or a big black lie. Who cares? Big, little, large, small, black or white, all of these words are adjectives. They are descriptive words. They describe what is being talked about.

Here are some examples. Let’s say you live in a large house and I live in a small house. Does it make a difference? No, the size of our houses is not in question. We both live in houses. We both have shelter and refuge from the elements. We both have houses. Large and small only describes the amount of money involved. The word with the emphasis is money.

Here’s one more example. We have all heard it said, “I only told a little white lie,” or, “He is a big, fat liar!” Who cares? We all should. A lie is a lie. There is no other way of looking at it. You cannot commit a little murder versus a big murder. That is just too plain silly to even consider. A lie is a lie is a lie. Nothing will change that no matter how many descriptive, elaborate words you use.

Who cares? God does. Let’s take it to the inspired Word. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). Simple and to the point.

We are told, “For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:22-24). Did you get that? ALL have sinned. There are no big sins or little sins. There are no supersized sins. There are no mini sins. A sin is a sin is a sin no matter what adjective you use to describe it. One sin is no better or worse than another. There are not good or bad sins. It is all the same. There is no difference. Guess what? We all have it. This is where salvation through Christ Jesus and God’s continual amazing grace steps in. Without those two things, all would be hopeless.

Does it really matter? Salvation does. Christ Jesus stepped in and took our place. He placed all our sins upon Himself. He became our sacrifice for sin. He is our propitiation or appeasement to God Almighty. He became our Justifier to God (Rom. 3:25-26). Yet it is up to us to accept salvation. It is up to us to do God’s will.

Does it make a difference? As I said earlier, sin is sin. Does the type of sin make a difference? Are there big or little sins? The answer is definitely no! Look at what God revealed in His Word:

“But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers! Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolater, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:8-11).

“But as for the cowardly, faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and ALL liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death” (Rev. 21:8, emphasis added).

As you can see, God sees no difference in the type of sins. He has the cowardly in the same group as murderers. He has faithless and greedy in the same group as drunkards. God makes no distinction about big or little lies; He covers them in one little word: “all.” To our heavenly Father, the type of impenitent sin makes no difference.

Who cares? God does. Revelation 21:7 simply states, “The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be My son.” Solomon put it this way: “The end of the matter, all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Eccl. 12:13-14). We must realize that we cannot hide anything from God. He is in control.

Are there big and little sins? No. Just as that tiny unseen tick caused a huge sickness with even the threat of death, it was not the size that was the problem. It was the tick. Sin is the same. No matter how big or little you think the sin is, it is the sin that causes the sickness with the threat of eternal death and alienation from God.

Does the type of sin matter? No. Does the kind of sin make a difference? No. Who cares? We all should and must. The Lord revealed to John, “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing My recompense with Me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the river of life and that they may enter the city by the gates” (Rev. 22:12-14).

Lorraine is the author of the books Just Asking and Heaven? or Hell? A Soul’s Choice.

 

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