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Nancy R. wrote:

Hi, guys —

Today I did something very stupid.

I was thinking about James 2:10 and how it says break one law and you break all of it . . . at least, that's how I interpreted it at the time.

I also was debating whether or not it was a figure of speech. I thought if you stole ten bucks, it would equal murder so some minutes later I decided to be rebellious and say a bad word knowing that it's a sin and would probably break the commandments.

  • Is this a very bad sin?
  • Is what I did equal to murder?

Nancy R.

  { Based on my interpretation of James 2:10, how bad is this sin and is it equal to murder? }

Bob replied:

Nancy,

The passage doesn't mean that all sins are equal in gravity, but only that sin is sin. It is wrong, and needs a savior. Some sins we do just because we are human and we are very imperfect, like when you come home in a bad mood and deal out a nasty attitude to someone. That is venial sin: wrong, but not deadly to your soul. Murder is a mortal sin; it is deadly to the soul. When a sin is of a serious nature, and we do it deliberately, knowing full well that it is wrong, it is a mortal sin.

Stealing can be a mortal or venial sin depending on the circumstances. Either way, those sins need to be confessed and made up for if possible (i.e., give the money back). Saying a bad word is not a mortal sin, so you shouldn't equate it with murder.

Hope that helps,

Peace,

Bob Kirby

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