Medicine uses many terms that evoke polarizing emotional responses. Benign and malignant are just two. Most are familiar with these terms but sometimes a new perspective is needed. Malignant means that a tumor has the potential to metastasize, or spread beyond the organ and tissue from which it is arising. Benign means there is no possibility of metastasis. Most patients will breathe a hearty sigh of relief if informed their diagnosis is benign…and that is good news, but it needs to be qualified.
A benign tumor can still grow, expanding and compressing the surrounding healthy tissue, leading to potential damage and loss of function. In soft tissues like the back or thigh, it may present as a lump, one that is easily accessible for surgical removal. Problems arise when a benign tumor arises within a confined space like a sinus or the brain. In these locations, the space is confined by the bone and cartilage. There is no additional space for the tumor to expand. In the brain, the effects may be devastating. Normal brain is compressed and critical areas may become damaged resulting in a stroke or even death. Benign does not mean harmless; it can still maim or kill.
Are there benign sins? All sins are wrong and an affront to God because seemingly big or small, all of our sins are a rebellion against Him. But the consequences of our sins do differ. If we murder someone, the laws of the land will convict us and we will be imprisoned. If we jaywalk, we may get a citation but probably no jail time. Both are sins but lead to far different consequences.
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
Galatians 6:7 (ESV)
We reap what we sow. Some sins may lead to immediate and devastating consequences while others may be of lesser severity and impact. But we should not be deceived and be led into a complacent attitude that these latter sins do not matter. Like benign tumors that kill, all sins can kill us by separating us from God. The only cure we have is to confess and repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
There are no benign sins only a loving God who bore the punishment that we rightly deserve for our sins and nailing them to His Cross.
All praise to the Living God!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.