The Fifth Commandment: “You Shall Not Kill”
We already know that mortal sin is a sin that is serious in its nature, and completely breaks off all graces and ties to God. It puts the individual’s soul in a state that will allow them to suffer eternal damnation if left unconfessed. Hell is real, and living on the wild side in a state of mortal sin is a danger not worth risking.
If it is bad for us to be in a state of mortal sin, it is equally bad to put someone else in a state of mortal sin. Mortal sin kills the soul. It kills our relationship with God. Thus, we may not be killing (murdering) them physically, in a spiritual sense we most definitely are.
When you willfully lead another into a mortal sin, you are murdering them spiritually and putting their salvation at risk. Thus, because you have put their salvation at risk, your salvation is now equally at risk. There are many examples of this, but basically if you allow or help anybody commit any mortal sin, you too are in a state of mortal sin.
Similarly, when you place a temptation in front of someone who is prone to commit a mortal sin, you are committing one as well. The reason is simply because we are to help our brothers and sisters to live a pure and holy life. By testing them in their weakness to sin, they may come out stronger without falling to that temptation, but they likewise might not and put themselves into a deadened relationship with God.
A few examples: Placing a bottle of alcohol before an alcoholic. Leaving pornography out before a sex addict. Talking your girlfriend into engaging in pre-marital sex. Encouraging a friend to steal. These are just a few examples, but you get the idea.
It is important as well that you are careful, especially with social media. I have seen a couple friends “share” or “like” something on Facebook that is border-line pornographic. To you it may not be a sin, but to those who go by and see this later, it will be. (Really you should avoid it, even if it doesn’t cause you to sin).
Jesus says in the Gospels:
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of things that cause sin! Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come! If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into fiery Gehenna.” Matthew 18:6-9
Jesus doesn’t sugar coat it here and therefore I won’t either. He is very clear that those who lead another into sin would be better off dead than alive. Sin completely kills our relationship with Him. Go to confession if you have committed this sin.
This post is one of many in a series on Mortal Sins. Click here for more posts explaining and defining mortal sins.