What is the Problem with Subtle Sin? - Radical

What is the Problem with Subtle Sin?

Why is subtle sin a significant problem? What does it cost us and how does it impact every aspect of our lives? In this video, David Platt explains how even simple, small, subtle sin is costly not only to you but also to the people around you. Subtle sin has been the downfall of countless leaders in the faith. Whether we read about the downfall of kings in the old testament, or the corruption in modern-day churches today, subtle sin is a powerful weapon of the enemy to steal, kill and destroy. Platt urges Christians to ask God to open our eyes to the compromises we make and fight against the desires of subtle sin.

  1. The Cost of Sin
  2. Compromise with Sin
  3. The Effects of Sin

Watch Full Message of Blind Spots

Subtle Sin

We have no idea what it will cost, not only each of us, but people around us when we settle for what seems like small, subtle disobedience in our lives. Just think about the examples we’ve mentioned, slavery, lack of civil rights. Racism was and still is extremely costly to generations of people. Materialism, the idolatry of money, the love of more possessions while ignoring the poor is extremely costly.

Sexual immorality doesn’t just cost you, it costs your spouse or future spouse. It costs your kids, your family. Looking at that sight, that image doesn’t just affect you. It affects those closest to you. And not just people close to us, people far from us. Are there not so many people in the world today who look in the church and see pastors, leaders, professing followers of Jesus who live just like everybody else in the world, just as corrupt, just as sexually immoral, just as selfish? All they do is tack Jesus on Sundays, and the world says, “I don’t get it and I don’t really want anything to do with it.”

Understanding Subtle Sin

Compromise with sin is extremely costly for the display of Christ to a world that desperately needs to see his sacrificial love and his selfless life on display. Don’t underestimate the cost of what seems like small, subtle sin. The Bible is filled with stories like this. We will read them. We’ve actually already read them. Lot’s wife in Genesis 19, she simply, subtly glances back when she’s been told by God not to do so. All of a sudden she’s dead.

It’s Moses’s seemingly simple, small, subtle sin in the Book of Numbers that keeps him from going into the Promised Land. When we get to Joshua Chapter Seven, we’ll see a man named Aiken steal some possessions, hide them under his tent to keep for himself, which leads to 36 people being killed. Then his whole family, his wife and children, dying.

How does Sin affect not only you but those around you?

Joshua Seven is a potent picture of how your sin inevitably affects not only your physical family, but also your spiritual family. Your sin, my sin, our sin affects people in our home, people in our church. We can keep going on and on. King David’s simple, subtle glance on a rooftop one day leads to death and destruction across the entire kingdom he led.

Oh God, open our eyes to the cost of compromise in our lives. Ladies and gentlemen, don’t believe it. I urge you, don’t believe it. Don’t believe the lie that your sin only affects you. It’s not true. Here the Bible’s saying loud and clear this week, it’s not true sin, particularly the blind spots that we don’t want to see, that we refuse to see, inevitably prove extremely costly to you and to people around you.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs are receiving the least support. You can help change that!