Back to Struggling Christian
Thomas Watson
Danger of Cherishing One Sin

“For if you live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live.” Romans 8:13.


“So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you.” Colossians 3:5


The following words come from Thomas Watson, a Puritan pastor, are worth pondering. Please remember he is speaking of “cherished” sin!


“A godly man considers the mischief which one sin lived in, will do.


1. One sin lived in, gives Satan as much advantage against you as more sins. The fowler can hold a bird by one wing. Satan held Judas fast by one sin.


2. One sin lived in, proves that the heart is not sound. He who hides one rebel in his house is a traitor to the crown. The person who indulges one sin is a traitorous hypocrite!


3. One sin lived in, will make way for more as a little thief can open the door to more. Sins are linked and chained together. One sin will draw on more. David’s adultery made way for murder. One sin never goes alone! If there is only one nest egg the devil can brood on it!


4. One sin lived in, is as much a breach of God’s law as more sins. “Whoever keeps the entire law, yet fails in one point, is guilty of breaking it all.” (James 2:10) The king may make a law against felony, treason and murder. If a man is guilty of only one of these he is a transgressor.


5. One sin lived in, prevents Christ from entering. One stone in the pipe keeps out the water. One sin indulged in, obstructs the soul and keeps the streams of Christ’s blood from running into it!


6. One sin lived in, will spoil all your good duties. One dead fly will spoil the whole box of precious ointment. A drop of poison will spoil a glass of wine. Abimelech, a bastard-son, destroyed seventy of his brethren. (Judges 9:5) One bastard-sin will destroy seventy prayers.


7. One sin lived in, will be a cankerworm to eat out the peace of conscience. “Alas! What a scorpion lies within!” (Seneca). One sin is a pirate to rob a Christian of his comfort. One jarring string puts all the music out of tune. One sin lived in will spoil the music of conscience.


8. One sin lived in, will damn as well as more sins. One disease is enough to kill. If a fence is made ever so strong, and only one gap is left open; the wild beast may enter and tread down the corn. If only one sin is allowed in the soul, you leave open a gap for the devil to enter! A soldier may have only one gap in his armor and the bullet may enter there. He may as well be shot there as if he had no armor on at all. So if you favor only one sin, you leave a part of your soul unprotected and the bullet of God’s wrath may enter there and shoot you! One sin lived in, may shut you out of heaven! What difference is there, between being shut out of heaven for one sin or for many sins? One millstone will sink a man into the sea as well as a hundred!


Therefore, beware of cherishing one sin! Give a certificate of divorce to every sin. Kill the Goliath sin! “Let not sin reign over you.” (Romans 6:12) In the original it is “Let not sin king it over you.” Grace and sin may be together but grace and the love of sin cannot. Therefore parley with sin no longer but with the spear of mortification, spill the heart-blood of every sin!” (Thomas Watson)