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Wednesday Devotional: A Single Drop Can Contaminate

Galatians 5:19-21

A single drop of oil placed in water can cover the area of a two-car garage, according to the U.S. National Park Service. A quart of oil can spread over water the size of three football fields.

It doesn't take much oil to contaminate water. It doesn't take much sin to contaminate our lives.

We tend to think our own sin is not as bad as the sin of others. So when we see a list of sins, we like to cherry pick, pointing out certain sins as worse than others, when in reality, all are equal contaminants. The Apostle Paul didn't rank sinful behavior when he presented a list in Galatians 5:19-21 (NRSV):

Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

I see no ranking here of one being worse than the other, or major sins versus minor sins. All of these works of the flesh are a drop (or quart) of oil in their own rights, destructively spreading and staining the water of our lives even if that layer is very thin.

Our goal should be to clean up the oil in our lives, scraping it away, without judging the sins of others. We each have our own lakes to purify, our own favored oil to remove.

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