Civilized sin is everywhere.
It creeps into our lives so slowly that we rarely recognize or even realize it is happening to us, or more accurately, that we are participating in it.
We condone & tolerate it through comparing it to worse & more evident sins. And because these sins are shared by the mass populous, they can be hard to distinguish & pinpoint in our lives, making them even harder to overcome.
We fall into the trap of thinking that if our neighbor, co-worker, pastor, teacher, parent, &/or best friend are all doing it, then it can’t be wrong, it can’t be a sin. And somehow we end up turning these sins into something that is common in our society, we civilize sin.
You should know that I’m not here to cast judgment or point fingers. I’m writing about civilized sin because I personally struggle with civilized sin on a daily basis.
And while I’m not going to share details of my own fight with civilized sin, as they are between God & myself, I will share some examples of civilized sin that are most common in our “civilized” society.
These civilized sins come in so many forms, some are easily recognized while others fall into grey areas that we allow to muddle between good & bad in our minds, but that’s what makes them civilized sins.
Some are easy to see, like addictions that are participated by a mass majority of our culture, like drunkenness, pornography, & immorality.
We may know them to be a sin, but we often either turn a blind eye (because it hits too close to home) or we spend time gossiping about it because we don’t want to look too closely at our own life & what is in our own heart & mind.
But there are others that are just as visible, but less observed as sin. This is what makes them even harder to distinguish as civilized sins.
These can come in the form of comparison of an Instagram picture which is jealousy & covetousness (1 Corinthians 3:3, James 3:16, Hebrews 13:5, & Luke 12:15).
Over usage of social media from constant scrolling through Pinterest & endless viewing of videos on YouTube & Facebook are all time consumers that too often waste the precious & valuable time God has gifted us on this earth.
Now, of course, I’m not saying social media is sin or recommending you give up everything cold turkey, but rather encouraging moderation. We were meant to be in the world without being of the world (1 John 2:15-17, John 15:19, & Romans 12:2).
Wasting God’s blessings & talents is also another way we often practice civilized sin.
These are so often things that we don’t consider to be sinful, but hoarding the gifts God has purposefully given us is selfishness & selfishness is a sin.
“Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” Romans 12:6-8 ESV
Once we are aware of the civilized sin eating away at our mortal life we must not turn a blind eye to them for they will continue to destroy us bit by bit.
It may take a lifetime to overcome these civilized sins, but we aren’t trying to simply win a few battles. Ultimately we are striving to win the war against sin in our life with the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)!
This is an uphill war, but one that we already know we can win, because Jesus already won it for us.
And through faith, our actions will be made pure.
How do you combat civilized sin in your life?
I’d love to hear from you!
Feel free to comment below, email me, or tweet me on Twitter.
With love, Giustina
but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that by testing you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2 ESV
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