Lie 6: Some Sin Doesn’t Count

(A series on lies sin tells us to tempt us and trick us. Read the whole series here.)

We like to restrict God’s definition of sin to make it more manageable.

God doesn’t define sin manageable as just “doing bad stuff,” or “making mistakes.” God says sin is a condition we’re born into. Scripture uses words like infection and impurity to describe how sin permeates not only us, but the world we live in (Isaiah 64:6, Romans 8:22.)

We minimize sin when we act like it’s a condition we can keep under control.

The lie goes like this:

This particular sin isn’t that bad, it doesn’t count.

But in truth, all sin is an offense to God, which damages, if nothing else, our walk with Him.

Often the sins we don’t really “count” are those with subtle or unseen consequences. We figure sin is only really bad if someone gets hurt.

On the flipside of that logic, we believe avoiding the temptation to sin should be profitable for us.

We end up repeating the words Elihu warns against in Job 35:3:

“You ask him, ‘What profit is it to me,

and what do I gain by not sinning?’”


When we think like this about sin and what counts as sin, we put a price on righteousness. We value honoring God based on the scales of self.

Case Study: Little White Lies

God says we never have to sin and never ought to.

Yet we are all tempted to tell white lies. They smooth things over, make people feel good, and prevent discomfort.

Essentially, telling a little white lie tends to gain us a whole lot more than being honest appears to.  So we value the self-benefit over the God-honoring truth.

Along the way, we often figure white lies hardly count. After all, we’ve appraised them as such.

Honoring God isn’t about our gain, but His. His appraisal of sin is more important than our valuation of the benefits of doing right or wrong. 

Imagine if Jesus acted as we do! It’s sobering to imagine Jesus diminishing “little sins” and “not counting them” because their consequences aren’t “that bad.”

1 John 1:9 shows us Jesus did not have an attitude of belittling sin.

Rather, Jesus addressed sin head on and with complete assurance:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness…

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.png

Would we want Jesus to “miss a spot” when He cleanses us? Would we want to settle for “only” the important parts being redeemed?

Jesus takes stock of our every sin, even the ones we wish didn’t count. He appraises them with just a glance: sin = needs cleansing. Then He turns them all white as snow.

Jesus isn’t satisfied to get us mostly clean. He isn’t one to “miss a spot.”

We have no reason to think He ought to. His cleansing is more than enough, and His grace is sufficient.

Even the “little” sins that hardly seem to count are important enough to Christ for Him to save us from them. He transforms the worst and the “not so bad” into the best for God’s glory.

Let your sin, glaring and subtle, be seen by the One eager to forgive and redeem.

This post may also be shared on: #MomentsofHope #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #TellHisStory, #Thought-Provoking Thursday, #Heart Ecnouragement, #DanceWithJesus, #LLMLinkup, Faith-Filled Friday, Sitting Among Friends, and #SoulSurvivalLinkup.


26 thoughts on “Lie 6: Some Sin Doesn’t Count

  1. carlielake

    I love this series, Bethany. I am so thankful that God sees the whole truth about our ‘little’ sins and offers to wipe away all of the soul-damaging consequences. Accepting that offer is like waking up on Christmas morning every morning. 🙂 Blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We like to not look too closely at the way that those little sins harm us too. Not just from God’s perspective (though that matters most) but also how they join forces to help us deceive ourselves!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve often found when “hyper” is in the phrase and it relates to the Lord, it’s been exaggerated by people. We tend that way! Thanks for the encouragement- I know sin isn’t a fun, happy topic usually, but it’s important to know what we’re freed from and by whom!


  3. Thanks for your series here, Bethany. We think some sins are little, don’t we? As if we think we know better than God what sin is. (My own rebellious heart speaking here!) But when we come clean and agree with HIM that sin is sin, we are cleansed and freed, aren’t we?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Would we want Jesus to “miss a spot” when He cleanses us?”
    What a great question that is! And one I’ve never really thought about. I need to go back and read some more in this series. 🙂 (I’m your neighbor at #Heart Encouragement.) Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Laura! I hope the Lord can use the series if you go back to read more too. I hadn’t thought of “missing a spot” until recently when I realized there are spots I kinda cover up cause I’d rather not have some favored sins removed!


  5. Bethany, I’m behind on my reading, so I’m late to the party here, but I wanted to tell you that I was thinking about you yesterday when I met with my ladies here in my living room. We were talking about sin, and how we have a tendency to try to “manage” it on our own. I read them so John Owen quotes and we noted (all of us being of an age to be considered “scary church ladies”) how we tend to rename our sin to make it more palatable. Wish you could have been with us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You can’t be late, Michele, there’s no deadline! : ) I’m so grateful for you! Wow- what a meeting! I wish I could have been there too, it’s precious to have believing women humbly gather and point to the Lord so strongly together. Palatable is a great word for this. Thank you for thinking of me and sharing! (Also- thanks for the book recommendation, Mortification of Sin is now on my Christmas list!!)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, we like to manage our sin and God doesn’t like it! A little “white” lie is still a lie. I’m learning and it’s a process to be truthful, even if it hurts. Thank you for your insights here and a reminder to count the cost. Linking up with #TellHisStory

    Liked by 1 person

  7. No, I don’t want Jesus to “miss a spot.” What a great visual, Beth. It’s so easy to “rank” sin in attempts to make ourselves feel better. I know I have! Looks like you have a great series going on, so I’m happy to be neighbors in the soul survival linkup:) Keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So thankful you came by and checked out the series, neighbor! : ) It’s a visual I try to think of when I look at sin as not that bad myself. So much of our dealings with sin are about feeling better instead of living better in the power of the Lord!


  8. We so often take the easy way out, don’t we? We are willing to stretch the boundaries to avoid being truly honest or coming face to face with sinful behavior. I think we all believe these little lies that rob us of a truly authentic relationship with God. Great encouragement to count the cost!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Counting the cost is a great way to phrase it, Tiffany. I hope this series is encouraging us to do just that- God’s boundaries on sin are more than sufficient, as is His grace! We do often take the easy way out- I’m so grateful for the better way and it’s blessings!


  9. You’ve given us lots to think about here. Those little white lies are pesky and can often be harmful. It’s best to stay silent when we are tempted to speak them.

    Good series. Glad I stopped by.

    You were my neighbor at a couple of link-ups. : )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Proverbs 17:28- Totally Cathy! Often silence is wiser than speaking up, though sometimes we have the opportunity to speak the truth in love too! Thanks so much for coming by neighbor, glad you enjoy the series!


  10. I love how you have chosen to explore sin at a deeper level Bethany. White lies are joked about so frequently in our culture “Does this make my butt look big?” and yet the honest answer to that question is not always the one we want to hear. 🙂 We need to remember to speak truth in love and that “His cleansing is more than enough, and His grace is sufficient.” Great reminders today!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Classic example, Nicki!! Thanks for exploring with me. The depths of sin show the heights of His saving grace! What an opportunity we have to speak the truth knowing that love will make even the hard parts glorious to God!


  11. Emily Swanson

    Amen! The hardest part is realizing that every sin is an offense against God, but it is also SO SO freeing, because it makes you look at yourself as totally filthy and totally in need of the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus!

    Liked by 1 person

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