1Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved usa and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
3Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. 4Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. 5You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.
Notice how God is not imploring us to watch even the small things in our lives; “obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes”. I know I find it so easy to slip into these small things. I also know they lead to greater sins. They also don’t make for a good example of Christ to the world. Then of course He adds “immoral, impure or greedy”. In all these things it is easy to think of big and serious examples that make use feel OK about our small sins, but is that what we are being called to? It doesn’t sound that way to me. It sounds like God is calling me to be pure in the fine details of my life.
God and I have a lot of work to do!
6Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. 7Don’t participate in the things these people do. 8For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! 9For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.
“Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins”. We cannot look at these lists that God has made for us and think he somehow didn’t mean it the way it sounds. Phrases like “they deserved…” or “I had every right to be angry…” or “Oh, that’s pretty minor” or “there are people out there a lot worse than you’, are all just excuses by people (sometimes ourselves) who are trying to fool us. We are called to act with the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. ANYTHING else is a sin and we can’t excuse it.
What sin are you making an excuse for right now?