“The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank you, that I am not as other men are, extortionists, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.” Luke 18:11.
We may flatter ourselves that we are free from many things of which others are guilty; but if we have some strong points of character, and but one weak point, there is yet a communion between sin and the soul. The heart is divided in its service, and says, “Some of self and some of Thee.” The child of God must search out the sin which he has petted and indulged himself in, and permit God to cut it out of his heart. He must overcome that one sin; for it is not a trifling matter in the sight of God.
One says, “I am not the least jealous, but then I do get provoked and say mean things, although I am always sorry after giving way to temper.” Another says, “I have this fault or that, but then I just despise such and such meanness as is manifested by a certain person of my acquaintance.” The Lord has not given us a list of graded sins, so that we may reckon some as of little consequence, and say that they will do but little harm, while others are of greater magnitude and will do much harm.
A chain is no stronger than is its weakest link. We might pronounce such a chain good on the whole, but if one link is weak the chain cannot be depended on. The work of overcoming is to be the study of every soul who enters the kingdom of God. That impatient word quivering on your lips must be left unspoken. That thought that your character is not rightly estimated must be put from you; for it weakens your influence, and works out the sure result, making you of light estimation in the minds of others. You should overcome the idea that you are a martyr, and lay claim to the promise of Christ, who says, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” –Messages to Young People, p. 91.