sin is more than doing something wrong

1 06 2007

Hold onto your hat, because this may be a bumpy ride…  🙂

It is extremely naive to think of sin simply as an isolated act — a lie, a theft, immorality, dishonesty, etc., for sin is all that is less than perfection.  It is rejecting God — “falling short” of the perfection which God envisioned for us.  Sin is being impaired, not simply performing a wicked act.  It is having impaired relationships and attitudes.  It is being less than whole.  It is having mixed motives.  Sin is the clever rationalization by which we seek to escape from facing ourselves.  It can consist in responding to a set of rigid moralistic “oughts” rather than obeying the spirit of God which dwells within us, and then feeling self-righteous about our pious attitude and behavior. ~ Cecil Osborne, The Art of Understanding Yourself

As the quote says, sin is much more than just doing something wrong.  Let’s apply this to our lives.  (Yes, that means I’m about to meddle.)

When we do something wrong — like losing our temper, thinking a lustful thought, saying something rude, lying, etc. — it’s not enough to just say you’re sorry for doing it.  God requires us to repent, which means turning away from the sin, committing to not doing it again by changing our mindset towards it.  Just repressing our evil acts isn’t what He has in mind.  When we commit a sin, it’s a manifestation of something in us that is sinful.  The action is just the “fruit” of the bad seed that is within us.  And so God wants to purify us on the inside, which makes us genuinely pure instead of just acting pure.

A lot of Christians try to live a “good” life, thinking that’s sufficient.  But God will judge our thoughts, intentions, and motives, in addition to what we do (and don’t do).  His goal for us is not just to make us “good”, but to make us whole.

So when you think, say, or do something that doesn’t meet the standard of Jesus, it means there’s an area within you that needs to be submitted to God for Him to change. It’s not just some random occurrence, nor is it solely a product of your circumstances.  The stimuli around you cannot force you to sin.  If the temptation to sin is not in you, then it can’t be brought out.  But when you have sinful temptations within, and the outside forces trigger that somehow, it brings your sinful nature to the surface, where it expresses itself visibly.  So when you catch yourself having a bad attitude or thinking / doing something wrong, consider that it’s a symptom of problems within, and you need to surrender that area to God.




3 responses

9 06 2007

Ouch! My toes!

11 06 2007

yes, it’s a bit of an ouch, but more like a painful massage into sore muscles. it hurts, but feels good at the same time and brings wonderful results! thanks, Beppo!

15 06 2007

Speaking of conviction, would our response to having our toes stepped on be a good indicator of how close we are to God? Of course it still “hurts” to have our toes stepped on (having our sinfulness pointed out), but it is refreshing when we go to God with it. And so we can enjoy hearing a sermon that convicts us. But if we really detest hearing a convicting sermon, what is that saying about our desire for spiritual growth (and thus about God)? If we try to rationalize away the conviction, aren’t we turning away the Holy Spirit, saying we don’t want His involvement in our life at that time?

Just a few thoughts…

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