The Heart of the Matter

Most of us want to be truly virtuous, but we struggle with a desire to do sinful things. Why is it so hard to do what’s right when we know exactly what “right” is (Matthew 26:41)? We know gossip is wrong (1 Timothy 3:11), we know we need to dress modestly (1 Timothy 2:9), we know it’s a sin to lie (Revelation 21:8), and we know we should remain sexually pure (Hebrews 13:4). So if we know the difference between right and wrong, and since the Bible is so clear about the consequences of sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-10), then why do we still have such a difficult time living for Him?

I think the reason is because we allow little things that “aren’t that bad” into our lives all the time. How many times this week have you said, or heard someone else say, “It’s not that bad.” That is the same thing as saying, “It’s not good.” To say it’s not that bad is to minimize the significance and danger of sin. God knows that sin will hurt us, which is why he tells us not to do it! Think of all the ways things that aren’t “that bad” creep into your life. When we watch a TV show or movie that celebrates fornication, we are allowing impurities to enter our hearts, through our eyes and ears. When we bring our boyfriend home to our empty house after school and make out with him on the couch, we are knowingly allowing sexual thoughts to enter our brains. When we read articles in magazines that tell us when it’s okay to tell a little white lie, we are allowing ourselves to think that maybe God’s word, and His commandment to never lie, doesn’t apply to all situations.

Here’s the truth: it matters! Sin, in any form, matters! Satan uses those little white lies, the make out sessions, and the “not that bad” movies to desensitize us to sin. When we begin with one “not that bad” sin, we start a pattern of other “not that bad’s” that generally lead to something very, very bad! Satan knows that, and he will get to us in any way he can. We must also keep in mind that, to God, sin is sin. A small fib is as bad as a huge lie (1 Timothy 4:1-2). If we hate someone, it’s on the same level as murder (1 John 3:15). All sin is equally bad to our Lord.

Our hearts matter!

God looks at our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7). Is your heart beautiful, or is it ugly and full of sin? It doesn’t matter what the girl in your youth group does. We’re not talking about her. We’re talking about you. What does your heart look like? Proverbs 4:23: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” If we find ourselves gossiping, lying, cursing, or watching inappropriate movies, the main problem is not our actions. The main problem is our impure heart causing us to do the sinful action.

How do we get a pure heart (Psalm 51:10)? We need to stop looking at others around us! We will always be able to find somebody who seems worse, or more sinful, than we are. That makes it so easy to justify what we’re doing. We can’t compare ourselves to other people. If we say, “Well, I do this, but that girl does….” then we’re justifying our sin based on the actions of other people. We need to say, “I did this, but Jesus would have…” Wow. Big difference, huh? The only human being we should compare ourselves to is Jesus. We need to look to Him, strive to live like Him, and not worry about what other people are doing.

The other people will have to answer for themselves (Romans 2:6-7), and while we do need to be a good example, encourage them to do well, and be happy for them when they succeed, we also need to make sure that we ourselves are right with God. Not for anyone else, and not to put on any kind of show, because when our heart is right, our show will naturally become one worth watching and emulating, and one that highlights Jesus.

Proverbs 31:10: “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.”

Davonne Parks

Davonne Parks


  1. This is very convicting! I especially like your “not that bad” paragraph, and where you say “Sin, in any form, matters.”

    Sin always matters to God, and we should be striving to be as close to Him, and as far from sin, as possible, but instead we often try to get away with as much as we can, while still being “good enough” to get into heaven.

    God doesn’t want our good enough; He wants our best and our all! Great job getting that message across!

  2. Great articles. God bless you. If only I could get my daughter to take heart to some of these. But she is caught up in the “it’s not that bad………………”

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