As a child one of my favorite books was “The Poky Little Puppy.” The plot isn’t important
but in the story the puppies get scolded for squeezing through a fence and embarking on their Christmas adventure. Their mother forbids them to go through the fence again. Of course when the urge to explore resurfaces one puppy suggests with a sly smile, “Mom said we couldn’t go through the fence but she didn’t say we couldn’t go under the fence.” Off they went again. Once more their mother scolds them and forbids them to go through or under the fence. Of course though when they wish to set off once more they discover a loophole in their mother’s instructions. “Mom said we couldn’t go through or under the fence but she didn’t say we couldn’t go over the fence.” You get the point. The puppies knew they weren’t supposed to go past the fence in any way, shape or form but in their determination to get their own way, they chose to hear only what they wanted to hear.
God said we must love our neighbors as ourselves but neighbors aren’t obese people, smelly people, toothless people, poor people, Republicans, atheists, Muslims, homosexuals, African-Americans, Latinos, Communists, thieves, liars, cheating spouses, gossips, racists, the homeless or lazy, drug addled millennials right? As the puppies might say, “God said we must love our neighbors as ourselves but He didn’t say what kind of “neighbor”.
Loving who we choose to love rather than who God instructs us to love is but one way we dig under the fence or leap over the fence rather than pass through the fence as God desires. If we love only those whom loving is convenient, we will bear no fruit through God’s efforts to grow us.
We act no differently with the other vices with sex perhaps being chief among our transgressions. Christians are quick to declare homosexual sex an abomination but gloss over their own pre-marital or extra-marital sexual activity not fully comprehending that their sin is no less pleasurable in God’s eyes than another’s sin is in theirs.
In our bid to exult ourselves, we overemphasize the severity of other people’s sins, depreciate our own and thus minimize our own disobedience. Rape, murder, assault are heinous acts to be sure, but we can’t overestimate their devastation while underestimating the havoc our alleged minor sins such as lying, wreak. Bears, lions, sharks kill with spectacular savagery but the creature on earth that kills the most, the mosquito, is far more delicate and subtle. Accounting for more deaths than the nine other most deadliest animals combined, the mosquito, like a lie or word of slander, moves from one human to the next multiplying and compounding its destruction. We disregard the mosquito as a minor nuisance, as something that isn’t a “big deal”, much like we do our “minor sins” but God sees the true devastation. In our ignorance we recognize only the most notorious, outwardly destructive sins, not realizing that the army of little ones, like the termite colony, are the forces truly nibbling away at the foundation of God’s kingdom.
Do you find loop holes in God’s rules to access whatever earthly pleasure your eyes desire or to avoid the uncomfortable requests God makes of you? Are you quick to condemn the sins of others with which you don’t struggle while ignoring your own? Comparing our accomplishments is unhealthy but comparing our sins could prove deadly.