Yes, we all know that the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). I’m talking about the social, economic, and political costs. I’m thinking about this today because of a study recently published that assigns a dollar cost to five different types of crime. For example, according to the researchers’ calculations, each murder costs society $17.25 million. Other crimes such as rape have a price tag of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The researchers’ goal was to determine whether prevention and rehabilitation programs save society money in the long run. I would like to see a study that crunches the numbers on everything the Bible identifies as sin and tells us what the social cost is. Think about the money we spend to deal with sin and its effects (or to enable sin). The entire military budget, for starters. Then there are social expenditures for police and other security measures (locks on doors, bars on windows, the entire system of jails and prisons, etc.).
A huge percentage of the government regulations in America, the cost of which is estimated in the hundreds of billions of dollars, is ostensibly in place to prevent or punish unethical behavior. What about all the money businesses and individuals spend to protect themselves from fraud and other forms of dishonest behavior? How much would there be left for our courts and lawyers to do absent sin?
How much money does the world spend trying to deal with sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies because people do not obey Biblical instructions concerning sexual behavior? How much more expensive is life for divorced couples who now have to maintain two separate households and their associated costs?
I’m sure I’m just scratching the surface here. I’m sure by the time we were to list all the costs of sin, we’d have many trillions of dollars spent annually. The world economy is estimated at $50-$60 trillion, I think, so this would be a hefty percentage of that. Feel free to add more costs of sin in the comment section.