Do You Have a Favorite Sin? (Thomas Watson)

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I never thought I would be the type to have a nickname for my wife. But one of my favorite names for her is “darling.” It’s a word that sums up my affections for her. She truly is my beloved and favorite person.

In his chapter on indulging sins, Thomas Watson addresses special sins that believers tend to love more. He calls them “beloved sins.” (Found on pp. 148-150).

A beloved sin: “There is usually one sin that is the favourite, the sin which the heart is most fond of. A beloved sin lies in a man’s bosom…”

“A godly man will not indulge a darling sin: ‘I kept myself from mine iniquity’ (Psa. 18:23)…. A godly man fights this king sin. The oracles of Apollo answered the people of Cyrrha that if they would live in peace among themselves, they must make continual war with those strangers who were on their borders. If we would have peace in in our souls, we must maintain a war against our favourite sin and never leave off till it is subdued.”

Question: “How shall we know the beloved sin?” (How do we spot it?)

Answer 1:The sin which a man does not love to have reproved is the darling sin. Herod could not endure having his incest spoken against…. Men can be content to have other sins declaimed against, but if the minister puts his finger on the sore, and touches this sin, their hearts begin to burn in malice against him. Herodias was an ominous sign.”

Answer 2:The sin on which the thoughts run most is the darling sin. Whichever way the thoughts go, the heart goes. He who is in love with a person cannot keep his thoughts off the object. Examine what sin runs most in your mind, what sin is first in your thoughts and greets you in the morning–that is the predominant sin.”

Answer 3:The sin which has most power over us and most easily leads us captive is the one beloved by the soul….Christians, mark what sin you are most readily led captive by–that is the harlot in your bosom.”

Answer 4:The sin which men use arguments to defend is the beloved sin. He that has a jewel in his bosom will defend it for very life. So when there is any sin in the bosom, men will defend it.”

Answer 5:The sin which most troubles us, and flies in the face in an hour of sickness and distress, that is the Delilah sin…. Conscience is reading him a sad lecture.”

Answer 6:The sin which a man finds most difficulty in giving up…. As with a castle that has several forts about it, the first and second fort are taken, but when it comes to the castle, the governor will rather fight and die than yield that. So a man may allow some of his sins to be demolished, but when it comes to one sin, that is the taking of the castle; he will never agree to part with that. That is the master sin for sure.”

“The besetting sin is a God-provoking sin….The besetting sin is of all others most dangerous… This is like a poison striking the heart, which brings death. A godly man will lay the axe of repentance to this sin and hew it down.”

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