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Does God punish me for little sins or for getting angry?

In his letter to Ephesians, Paul writes, "Be angry, but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger" (Ephesians 4:26 RSV). Paul tells us it is possible to feel anger without sinning. If we let the anger fester inside or we dwell on it overnight, it could lead us to sin.

When you say "mistakes," let's assume you mean sin, and when you say "little,” you mean sins that might seem inconsequential. Consider lust. This sin of adultery (Matthew 5:27-30) can manifest itself privately through pornography. It's just you and the images, so there seems to be no victim. In reality, all sin has a victim, even if it is the sinner. Lust causes us to objectify others, to stop seeing them as God's children and start seeing them as something we can use for our own pleasure.

God hates all sin. To Him, there is no such thing as a “little mistake.”

Why? Because the ultimate consequence of sin is death (Romans 6:23). If we never respond to God's invitation to live in paradise forever, this is how we end up. Fortunately, God didn't leave it at that. He continues, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus." If we do respond to God's invitation, we can be saved from the ultimate consequence of our sin.

Having said all this, God has a few ways of dealing with you here on earth when you sin.

First, God does nothing, letting you suffer the consequences of your actions. This probably happens most often, as it helps us understand the consequence of sin and motivates us to not want to sin anymore.

God can also protect us from the consequences of our sin. There has been at least one time in my life when I sinned and asked God not to let me suffer for it. He was merciful on me and I did not pay for it that time. This happens very rarely, but God will sometimes shower us with mercy to encourage us and if we are truly repentant.

Finally, God can punish us directly. This can manifest itself in many ways, but it probably doesn't happen that often.

Can you think of examples in the Bible of how God dealt with sinners in each of these ways?

  • List some ways in the comments section below.

It took Moses 40 years to get to the point where God could use him. God understands you won't be perfect that first day you say “Yes” to Him. You probably won't be perfect in a week. But if you are walking with God, you will get there one day.

Here are some comforting words from the Bible:

  • "My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke" (Proverbs 3:11).
  • "The LORD disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in" (Proverbs 3:12).
  • “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent” (Revelation 3:19).

What do you guys think?

By CK Lester

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