Wednesday, April 2, 2014

aggressive dogs, aggressive sins

Quick, name the most aggressive breeds of dogs.

Don't think about it too much--just name the first breeds that come to your mind when somebody says "aggressive dog."

My guess is, one of these breeds came to mind:

Certain breeds have definitely been vilified lately, named "vicious" by merit of their genes alone.

According to a study done by the University of Pennsylvania a few years ago (and then published in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science), if those are the dogs that come to mind, you're off a bit... around 100 pounds, give or take a few.

According to their survey of roughly 6,000 dog owners, here's the top 3 most aggressive breeds:
From the AKC
Also from the AKC
From dogbreedinfo

Why don't those little dogs--the dachshund, chihuahua, and jack russell--have the bad reputation instead of the big dogs? Why don't people pull their children away when they see someone walking on the sidewalk with one of these "aggressive" dogs, yet warn them to stay away from the rotties and pits?

If a rottweiler bites someone, it's evident. The damage is there for everyone to see, a glaring reminder of the dangers of big teeth. When a chihuahua bites someone, on the other hand, there's seldom even broken skin left as a reminder.

I think sin is a lot like this.
Every "good Christian" seems to know the hierarchy of sins. At the top you have the most dangerous ones (in no particular order):

As long as you can point to that list and say, "Hey, I'm not doing any of that stuff!" you're good, right?

Just like with the little dogs listed above though, I would argue that it is the "little sins" that are the most aggressive. Sins like:
ugly attitudes
These are the sins that often creep in quietly, able to slip under the radar and hang around for a long time because they don't seem "as bad."

The "big sins" seem worse because their effects are more obvious, but perhaps it's really the "little sins" we should be worried about, the ones that quietly crush our spirits by stealing our joy--or the joy of those around us.

We hear the verse quoted all the time that says God hates homosexuality, but what about these:

"There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers." Proverbs 6:16-19

"For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity." Isaiah 61:8a

"'I hate divorce,' says the LORD God of Israel, 'and I hate a man's covering his wife with violence as well as with his garment,' says the LORD Almighty." Malachi 2:16

I think it's pretty safe to say that God hates all sin. 

Look at the following verses from Romans:
"Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant, and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." Romans 1:28-32

That's quite a mix of sins in that list, things that would fit anywhere from the very top of the "hierarchy"--God-haters seems to fit there-- to the very bottom--strife? That doesn't seem too bad, right?

The thing is, God says that all of those sins deserve the same punishment.

What's amazing, though, is that God didn't leave us to our sins. He didn't even just stick us with a massive list of rules to follow and sacrifices to make when we mess up.

Instead, He chose to give Christ as the One Pure Sacrifice, the One whose blood was able to cover every sin. Christ chose to suffer death on the cross so we could experience life.

How amazing is that?

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