Even a little bit of corruption taints the whole. If you have a small amount of mold on food it usually means the entire piece is tainted and shouldn’t be eaten. A little white lie, when discovered, casts doubt on the whole story. A small amount of corruption is not an insignificant problem, because it usually means the whole piece has been tainted.
This is the effect that sin has on the world. We live in a world of sin, not because everything is inherently evil, but because everything has been tainted by sin. There is not a single part of this world that has not experienced the corrupting influence of sin.
The apostle Paul used this analogy; Your boasting about this is terrible. Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough? (1 Corinthians 5:6; NLT). We cannot hope to isolate sin in one part of our lives and think it will stay there. Sin will always flow into other areas of life.
Not only do we have our individual struggle with sin, but we also have to struggle against the corporate effect of sin that touches everything that we do. The sin of individuals always seeps into what they do, including what they do with the best of intentions.
Sinful people create sinful structures, which may then take on a life of their own. Human rebellion has spread across the planet so that every human institution—government, family, church—has been soiled. In some ways a structure or group of people is more inclined to evil than an individual and less inclined to love.
Philip Yancey, Rumors of Another World, p. 107
I think we underestimate the effect sin has on our world. Our family structures, educational systems, and political organizations are infected with the corruption of sin. Even our best institutions have not escaped the corrupting influence that sin has. This means we shouldn’t put too much trust in these things. Because of the corruption of sin these things will sooner or later let us down, or even worse, hurt us.
As God’s resurrection people, Christians are to fight against the corruption that infects this world. This requires us shedding light on the corruption, and it means setting up systems of love, faith, and grace. We need be on our guard and do what we can to make sure our families, churches, and communities are not overwhelmed by the corruption of sin. Rather than being conduits of sin that bring more hurt and corruption into the world, we are to be conduits of love that bring healing and hope to people ravaged by the corruption of sin.