What is the Biggest Sin ?

Many have tried to list sins from big to small and separate the “deadly” ones from the rest. I suppose we can argue till the cows come home which sin is bigger than the next. The fact is that all sins are deadly and all are equally abhorrent to God. Even the “smallest” sin is sufficient to bar us from the Lord’s presence for ever and it is no more difficult for God to forgive the greatest sin than it is for Him to forgive the least.

But there is one sin that is responsible for more people going to Hell and for more Christians losing out on God’s blessing than probably all the other sins put together. At the same time it is the one sin that every individual, saved and unsaved are all guilty of. Those people that feel they are not affected by this sin, or that they have it under control, are the most guilty.

This sin is more easily camouflaged as something good than any other sin and, even in its raw state it appears quite respectable. It is the first sin that was ever committed and will probably be the final sin, just before the guilty are all cast into the lake of fire. It is the sin of pride. Pride is the sin God hates most. And Lucifer was cast out of heaven for just one expression of it. Pride is so deadly because it is a virus that infiltrates our whole being and kills all our senses, faculties and even kills our minds.

Pride blinds us. It prevents us from seeing our own sin. Oh yes, we can see the misdemeanors of everyone else but when we look at our own lives we marvel that we are actually such wonderful, perfect people. Solomon knew all about pride and it was he who said “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes” (Proverbs 16:2). I remember speaking to a man who had lived a life of terrible sin. He just could not see how badly he had sinned but in the course of the conversation he quoted this verse and applied it to me. Even in quoting it he could not see that the fact that the verse had come into his mind was God speaking to him.

It is impossible to help those who are blind to their need, sin and blindness. There is no hope for them until they see themselves the way God and others see them. But the real problem is the pride that has blinded them. Unless God brings them to their knees, they will not see and without seeing they have no need for the blood that can cleanse them.

Pride makes us deaf. Those who are self-sufficient and filled with their own self-worth cannot hear God’s Word. Even when the sermon is directed straight at them and even if the preacher used their name, they would still not be able to hear what God is saying to them. To the proud every word in the Bible and every word from the pulpit is for someone else. As we read and listen, we apply the Word to everyone around us, except to ourselves. Someone recently asked me about an article I wrote. The question was whom I had written the article for. My response seemed rude and the questioner was taken aback: “I wrote it for you”. Even as you read this article, have you been thinking about someone else who really needs this? Then you are proud and have become deaf! The only correct response to any word we hear or read is: “Yes, Lord, that’s for me”.

Pride cripples our feet so we cannot change direction even when we know we are on the wrong road. Pride paralyzes us so we cannot repent even though we know what needs to be done. As a shepherd, I find nothing more frustrating than to watch someone who knows they need to change but are unable to do so since a change in direction would be an admission of guilt and their pride just does not allow them to admit wrongdoing. They are literally paralyzed – their heart and mind knows what needs to be done but the rest of their being just will not cooperate. How sad.

Pride also makes us dumb so we cannot speak. Oh yes we can say a million words, especially about our achievements and other’s sins. But there are three words that are impossible to get over the lips of the proud. These are: “I’m sorry” Whether we need to say those words to God, or another person, those words become impossible to say. The big difference between Saul and David was that David had no problem saying “I have sinned” but for Saul those words had to be dragged from his lips by a team of oxen and even when he said them, they were simply words devoid of meaning.

Pride paralyzes our hands and arms so we cannot reach out to others for help or to help. We would rather die than admit that we need others, prayer or advice. Once again, I often have to sit by helplessly and watch people destroy their lives, marriages and relationships because they will not reach out for help. When one offers help to such they become offended as they see that as an attack on their wonderful coping skills. Not only can the proud not reach out to ask for help, they are too proud to reach out and help others who are in need. They simply cannot understand why others can’t get their lives together, like they have.

Pride destroys our immune system so that we become susceptible to every other kind of sin that goes around. Our arrogance deceives us into believing that we cannot fall and that we can handle any sin and temptation that comes our way. The proud have no defenses against sin and pride will always lead to all other sin.

Pride is a terrible disease that infiltrates every fiber of our being and that destroys every semblance of life from within until we become spiritual vegetables, with no feeling, life or contact with God or others. One of the terrifying things of this disease is that there is no human cure. Other Christians, spiritual leaders and family members can do nothing to help someone who has been infected by this disease. Nothing can be said or done to penetrate the defenses of those under its spell. God and the individual alone can begin the cure. All we can do is pray for them.

But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit was hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him” (Daniel 5:20).