Better off Dead

What sin is so serious–so wicked–that committing it is worse than death? God himself says that if you commit this sin, it would be better for you to be in the grave.

Jesus says you would be better off dead than to commit this sin.

By your laziness,
By your negligence,
By your selfishness,
By your indifference,
By your bad example,
If you cause a child to sin,
then you would be better off dead.

The scary thing is that many parents do this all the time.


“I know it would be good to take my children to church, and to teach them to worship God regularly. But I just don’t feel like it. I would rather take a nap or watch T.V.”


“I do not neglect my children’s physical needs. But I do neglect their spiritual needs. I give them food, clothing, and shelter (things that are least important), but I refuse to give them daily prayer with their family, and a solid education in the teachings of Scripture (things that are most important).”


“I don’t want to have daily family prayer. I don’t want to spend hours studying the Scriptures. I don’t want to go to church. I would rather eat, sleep, and be entertained. Oh . . . my children? what’s good for them? I don’t have time to consider that. Now, back to me . . .”


“Are my children learning to worship God daily, to participate in church regularly, and to know the Scriptures deeply? I never really thought about it. Frankly, the souls of my children are not that important to me. I just don’t care one way or the other.”

Bad Example:

“When it is time to go to work, I show up faithfully. By my example, my kids know it is very important to go to work. But when it is time for daily family prayer and Bible study, I only do it if I feel like it. By my example, my kids know that worshiping God is optional. It is not that important.”

“Sometimes I skip church because I’d rather go fishing, or take a nap, or go shopping at the mall. Sometimes I skip daily family prayer because I’m tired, or in a bad mood. I never miss my favorite T.V. show, and I never miss my time on Facebook. But I often fail to study the Bible and pray with my children, because I usually just don’t feel like it.”

Woe unto parents who raise their children in this way!

Jesus says it is grievous to lead a child into sin.
In fact, He says you would be better off dead than to do that:

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)

Lord, have mercy!

Fathers, mothers, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, it is time for us to take these words of Christ seriously. We need to repent wholeheartedly! Do not waste another day. Do not allow your lazy lifestyle to lead your children into sin.

If you want your children to be godly, well-disciplined, and virtuous, then you must be so yourself. For the love of your children, and for the love of Christ, do not cause one of these little ones to sin.

About Fr Joseph Gleason

I serve as a priest at Christ the King Orthodox Mission in Omaha, Illinois, and am blessed with eight children and one lovely wife. I contribute to On Behalf of All, a simple blog about Orthodox Christianity. I also blog here at The Orthodox Life.
This entry was posted in Christian Education, The Orthodox Christian Family. Bookmark the permalink.

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