The Greater Danger of “Little Sins” Vs. “Big Sins”

“Not that Bad” Is the Worst

little sins vs big sins

Ecclesiastes 10:1

In some respects, little sins are much more dangerous than big sins. By “little sins” and “big sins,” I certainly don’t mean some sins are less offensive in the eyes of God. All sin deserves death, and thus all sin will be paid for either by the sinner or through the cross of Christ.

So by “little sins” and “big sins,” I mean those sins humans view as less or more obvious, less or more offensive, and less or worse in their consequences. Example: Punching someone in hatred is a “little sin” compared to murdering someone in hatred.

Little sins are more dangerous because little sins are more likely to be excused in our human minds. Big sins are obvious. It’s the little sins that often ruin the masses.

Little Sins Are More Dangerous Than Big Sins Because They Multiply Easier

In Charles Spurgeon’s sermon titled, “Little Sins” he states:

Another argument may be used to respond to this temptation of the devil. He says, “Is it not a little one?” “Yes,” we reply, “But little sins multiply very fast.” Like all other little things, there is a marvelous power of multiplication in little sins. . .

Years ago there was not a single thistle in the whole of Australia. Some Scotchman who very much admired thistles—rather more than I do—thought it was a pity that a great island like Australia should be without that marvelous and glorious symbol of his great nation. He, therefore, collected a packet of thistle-seeds, and sent it over to one of his friends in Australia. Well, when it was landed, the officers might have said, “Oh, let it in; ‘is it not a little one?’ Here is but a handful of thistle-down, oh, let it come in; it will be but sown in a garden—the Scotch will grow it in their gardens; they think it a fine flower, no doubt,—let them have it, it is but meant for their amusement.”

Ah, yes, it was but a little one; but now whole districts of country are covered with it, and it has become the farmer’s pest and plague. It was a little one; but, all the worse for that, it multiplied and grew. If it had been a great evil, all men would have set to work to crush it. This little evil is not to be eradicated, and of that country it may be said till doomsday,— “Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth.” Happy would it have been if the ship that brought that seed had been wrecked. No boon is it to those of our countrymen there on the other side of the earth, but a vast curse.

Take heed of the thistle-seed; little sins are like it. Take care they are not admitted into your heart. Endeavour to shun them as soon as Satan presents them. Go, seek by the grace of God and his Holy Spirit to keep them away; for if not, these little sins will multiply so fast, that they will be your ruin and destruction.”

Little Sins Are More Dangerous Than Big Sins Because They Easily Go Unnoticed

In C.S. Lewis’ classic book, The Screwtape Letters, where an older demon is seeking to train a younger demon, the mentor say’s to his apprentice, “Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one–the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”

The enemy seeks to prove we never truly knew God through Christ not by a sudden open rejection of the Savior. Rather the enemy seeks to prove our conversion was never genuine in the first place through our slow and somber fading from his love where we and everyone else around us are fooled by the Christian facade we slowly build along with the wall of little sins we think are not that bad. And yet brick by brick of “innocent sin,” we take in the lie that kills us, the lie that there is such a thing as innocent sin.

When an enemy wants to invade, usually the first thing they do is not to send the whole army. They usually try to get a foothold into the enemy territory by sending a small platoon. Before the massive Allied invasion on D-day, they dropped small platoons of men behind enemy lines by parachute. They did this because smaller units were more likely to go unnoticed. This is what Satan tries to do with us as well. Little sins are much more likely to be overlooked than big sins.

Little Sins Are So Dangerous Because They Still Cause Big Problems

On January 12, 1997, two Swiss men began a quest to do what had never been done before. They wanted to fly around the entire world in a hot-air balloon. Of course this was not an average hot-air balloon. It was decked out with the newest and best technology available. The men had ground support, they had planned everything out perfectly, and the total cost of this adventure came to 1.5 million dollars.

But as soon as they took off, disaster immediately struck. Inside of their pressurized cabin, they started to detect a kerosene leak. As the minutes rolled by, the smell only got worse. They tried everything they could to fix the problem, but the leak was so bad they had to perform an emergency evacuation and ditch the balloon in the Mediterranean Sea. After the wreckage was inspected, it was discovered that this $1.5 million voyage was derailed by a simple hose clamp that cost a mere $1.16.

In our Christian life, we can set out on grand and epic voyages, hoping to accomplish great feats for God, but small sins can ruin our best intentions. Horatius Bonar said:

A holy life is made up of a multitude of small things. It is the little things of the hour and not the great things of the age that fill up a life like that of the apostles Paul or John, or David Brainard, or Henry Martyn. Little words, not eloquent speeches or sermons; little deeds, not miracles or battles, or one great heroic effort or martyrdom, make up the true Christian life.”

How we spend our days will be how we spend our lives. The theme of our life will be the sum of the little choices we made every day. Little choices, including little sins, have a big impact.
(Note: Some of the quotes listed here were found in Chapter 26 of Dr. David Jeremiah’s book, “31 Days to Happiness.”)