8 Deadly Little Sins


The Scripture, Old and New Testament, call the people of God, to reflect the holiness of the God they serve, “Be holy, for  I am holy!” (Lev. 20:7; I Pet. 1:16)

1 Peter 2:12 – "Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us."

Most Christians, genuine Christians, have a list of what they consider major sins – the “No, no’s” for them – murder, theft, blatant lying, adultery, flirting with paganism or idolatry, wrath. And yet, sadly, even these things are now growing in the church!

What we do clearly struggle with and fail to see as sin, we merely dismiss, calling them "character flaws" or genetic traits that run our families. Such things, however, are sin. They are:



The means by which we dishonor the grace of God. 

Arrogance, conceit, self-sufficiency, cold/hard heart, critical spirit, envy, jealousy, the advocacy of self, murmuring and complaining (about me), no servant spirit, offending others, living off opinions, stubbornness and the absence of humility.



The means by which we dishonor the Lordship of Christ.  

Self-centered, self-promoting, self-justifying, and self-pitying. Striving with God and others – a spoiled child, defending ‘rights’, holding out for self – withholding love, forgiveness, patience … the idol of self!  



The means by which we dishonor the sovereignty of God.

Demanding, playing God, manipulating, independent/teaming spirit, perfectionist, picky, petty, micromanaging, distorted expectations, unrealistic demands, smother others.  


The means by which we dishonor the holiness of God.

Little reverence, loss of awe, familiarity, failure to steward grace, compromise and tolerance of evil, loss of 1st love, lack of spiritual discipline, people pleaser, pet sins, loose living/talking.  



The means by which we dishonor the love and forgiveness of God.

Revenge for unhealed hurts/wounds. Anger, unforgiveness, records of wrong, impatience, indifference, fractured relationships, debt collecting. Trust issues.  


The means by which we dishonor the Word of God.  

Fear, a “what if disposition …” Guilt, living by feelings, hopelessness, tension, anxiety, worry, no joy, no love, no sense of God’s love.  The light (revelation) goes out.   


The means by which we dishonor God’s integrity, truth, and promises to us.

Deceived when we are drawn away from truth. We substitute some lie for truth. We violate integrity. We fail to be true to ourselves. We allow pretense, hypocrisy, and duplicity.   


The means by which we dishonor the righteousness of God.

A divided heart, flesh over the spirit, now over eternity, coveting, desires that are inappropriate and out of control: sexual, sensual or spiritual. Love for the things of the world. Addictive behaviors. Choosing the wrong/not the right! 


These things are not merely bad – they are sinful. And they are destroying the church. Vance Havner stated, “Most church members live so far below the standard, you would have to backslide to be in fellowship with them.”  And the problem, according to Havner, is that preachers are preaching happiness, not holiness.

May we never be the preachers that give room for such things; not in our pulpits, or in our own lives.


This is an excerpt from the Praying Church Handbook, Volume II, ‘Intimacy with God.’ by Doug Small. The entire four volume set can be ordered at alivepublications.org along with many of Doug’s other written publications.