By Vivian Bricker, Crosswalk.com
Sadly, it is common for Christians to sweep sins under the rug. By rationalizing that the sin is “not that bad,” sins can easily be “swept away.” Even though it is common to sweep sins under the rug, we should not. God tells us to confess our sins and He will forgive us (1 John 1:9). Here are five sins most Christians sweep under the rug.
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The first sin that is common to sweep under the rug is pride. As a biblical definition, pride includes “ideas of arrogance, cynical insensitivity to the needs of others, and presumption. Pride is both a disposition/attitude and a type of conduct.” In our modern-day society, pride is pervasive and even praised. Social media is a main avenue of pride for many individuals, including Christians. Pride can also be promoted through one’s appearance, accomplishments, or social status. When an individual becomes prideful, it can be effortless to slip into the practice of snobbery. While it is good to be confident in yourself, being prideful is a sin.
Throughout the Old Testament book of Proverbs, much is written about the sin of pride and its dangers (Proverbs 8:13, 16:18, 29:23). Proverbs 11:2 warns us, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Likewise, Proverbs 16:5 is convicting as it tells us, “The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.”
In addition to the Old Testament, the New Testament also talks about the dangers of pride. James 4:6 says, “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” The Apostle Paul also tells us, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited” (Romans 12:16). In all of these Scripture passages, we are told not to be prideful. Throughout our daily life, we need to take this truth to heart. Even though mainstream society promotes pride as being a good thing, we are doing right by choosing to be humble rather than prideful.
A second sin that Christians tend to sweep under the rug is gossiping. Gossip is extremely prevalent in our modern society. Tabloid headlines, internet articles, and social media are saturated with the latest gossip. Sadly, even in our church culture, gossip is common. Christians tend to sweep the sin of gossip under the rug because gossip tends to be masked as “caring” for the other person or “looking out” for the person of interest when it is not. Gossip is never okay. If you have been the victim of gossip, you know how unpleasant and horrible it feels to be the subject of mockery, hurt, and lies.
If you know people who gossip, it is best not to associate with them. In fact, if your “friends” gossip about people with you, they are probably gossiping about you behind your back. This sin reflects the nature of their heart, which can only be changed by God... not by tearing down others (yourself likely included) to find their worth. Don’t spend time with gossippers, and don’t be a gossip. The Bible tells us, “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much” (Proverbs 20:19). Similarly, Proverbs 18:8 says, “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.”
Gossip has no place in a believer’s life. As Christians, we don’t need to sweep this sin under the rug and act like it is “no big deal.” Gossiping is a big deal and can do much harm to others' worth and perceived value.
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A third sin that is swept under the rug by Christians is the sin of lying. It is common, even among Christians, to tell lies or what we call “white lies.” Whether something is a “white lie,” a “fib,” or a “big lie,” all are lies and all are sins. God warns us against lying throughout the Bible. Proverbs 6:16-19 tells us God hates lying: “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” Lying is an absolute abomination to the Lord (Proverbs 12:22). There are no “little” lies or lies that won’t hurt anybody. The Bible tells us that Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). As believers, we are children of God, not of the devil. Since we are children of God, we need to tell the truth and always be honest. Lying will only lead you down a dark road of sin.
A fourth sin most Christians sweep under the rug is the sin of profanity. In modern culture, it is seen as “cool” to use profanity. Even Christian circles are sprinkled with watered-down ideas of profanity's danger, such as: "I love Jesus... but I cuss a little." Whether walking down the street or listening to mainstream music, you are bound to come across profanity. Even if profanity is seen as “cool” or “in” in modern culture, as Christians, we do not need to use curse words. The Bible tells us to keep our tongues from evil (Psalm 34:13).
This means that we do not need to speak evil, such as curse words. Profanity is never used in a positive manner as these words are normally used when someone is upset or angry (although nowadays they tend to be used in everyday conversation). Despite profanity being expected in the world, God calls us out of the world. The Lord calls us to follow His example and to treat others kindly. Ephesians 4:29 urges us, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” If you have gotten into the habit of using profanity, you can change that today. Ask God to help you and He will. Using profanity can be a hard habit to break, but it is possible if you ask for God’s help.
A fifth sin most Christians sweep under the rug is idol worship. In the Old Testament, idolatry focused on carved idols that the people would worship. However, in our modern-day society, idols are much different (and often subtle). While we don’t have carved images or statues of idols, we tend to idolize celebrities, people in our lives, or our profession. Anything that we place above God becomes an idol in our life. Even good things can become idols in our lives if we let them, such as spouses, family members, friends, sports, etc.
As Christians, God needs to be the number one in our life. Christians tend to sweep the sin of idolatry under the rug because it has been normalized within society to adore a celebrity or even among Christian circles, it has become normalized to worship your spouse. The only person we need to worship is the Lord—nobody and nothing else. Leviticus 26:1 tells us, “Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the Lord your God.” The Apostle John also tells us, “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21). Instead of worshipping people, things, or ourselves, we need to worship God alone.
Confessing to God
If you have swept any of these sins under the rug, strive to confess your sins to God instead of rationalizing them. God will forgive our sins if we are truthfully asking for His forgiveness (1 John 1:9). Turn to God, ask for His forgiveness, and walk in the freedom of His forgiveness. You will experience true growth as a Christian when you choose to confess your sins and repent rather than sweep your sins under the rug. The Lord loves you and He will forgive you of any sin.
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