Prostitution and Pride
1 Timothy 5:24 The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. (NIV)
When my son was four or five years old, I doubt that he caught much of the Sunday morning sermon. When the pastor read about a prostitute however, I got, Dad, what’s a prostitute? The word itself is so ugly that I cringed at the out-loud question in church.
Some sins are difficult not to look down upon. One good thing about living on earth is that there will always be those whom I find to be more defective than me. If I can look down on someone else, I feel better about myself. I may even ignore my own defects if I can focus enough on the faults of others. The more destructive the sins of everyone else, the better I feel.
Paul, in today’s passage, acknowledged that the consequences of some sins are obvious, while the destruction of others is hidden. There is always a price to pay though, even if it is not immediately obvious. Different sins have different costs, but all sins lead to destruction. Even if that destruction is only to injure our relationship with God, that is no small thing. I may think I have escaped consequences if I do not get caught, but there are worse things than getting caught.
Some sins will have immediate and devastating consequences. The results of some sins are hidden though, as the sins themselves are hidden. Resentment, lust, pornography, jealously and hatred can all be done in secrecy, giving me a false sense of security as I do not suffer any immediate or obvious repercussion.
Other sins hide in plain site as they are much more acceptable. Though a prostitute may be shunned in church, pride, greed and gossip may be quite welcome on Sunday morning. Paul said however, that sin always injures our spiritual life, distancing us from God. There is always a price to pay for following self instead of God.