trusted online casino malaysia
Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

What Makes it Major Sin?

The roots.

James 2:8–13

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Obviously, the people we might show partiality towards (or against) are our “neighbors.” So, the “love your neighbor” bit isn’t only about the folks that live on your street.

James’s point here is, “if you show partiality, you commit sin.” Do not miss how strongly James is saying this. Partiality is the antithesis of loving your neighbor. It’s on the level with adultery and murder.

James uses a bit of humor to make his case with the example of someone who thinks he’s hot stuff because he doesn’t commit adultery, even though he’s a murderer.

That’s ridiculous. James is poking fun at our tendency to excuse our weaknesses while exalting our strengths.

Those of us who show favoritism likely think favoritism is a minor sin compared to marquee sins like adultery and murder.

But it’s not.

This is one of those bits of Biblical teaching that we all memorize and can dutifully recite when asked but don’t really take to heart. Are all sins really equal?

No, and James isn’t saying that. What he is saying is that favoritism is one of the big ones.

If that seems extreme, consider this—“What separates the major sins from the minor ones?”

Two things come to mind: the sin’s impact on others, and its relationship to pride. This first is like a force multiplier; impacting others enables one sin to spawn other sins in a chain reaction.

The second is about its relationship with the root of sin. CS Lewis’s description of pride says it all: “The essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the ultimate anti-God state of mind.

Favoritism scores high on both points. It obviously impacts others in a way that can embarrass the LORD, plus lead them away from faith. And favoritism’s connection to pride is almost as strong.

Why favor the one with worldly status, if not to boost your own?

To forward this devotional, see the link in green below.

These weekday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. Saturdays' by Matt Richardson. Subscribe here:

The weekly study guides, which include questions for discussion or meditation, are here:

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.