Sin

Sin is a word that can stay at the surface or penetrate deep.  What exactly is sin?  Well, the most obvious definition is that sin is disobeying God.  How do we disobey God?  The Ten Commandments come to mind.  When we were just a ‘baby people’ beginning a life in a new (Promised) land, God gave us some guidelines to follow.  Many people think of them as 10 Don’ts, but if you think about it,  they are really there to help us and protect us.  When dealing with others (the last seven Commandments), we think ‘do unto others….’  Would we want someone to steal from us, to lie to us, to kill us?  Of course not, and therefore, these are in place to establish loving, truthful relationships with each other.  The First Three are there to teach us what our relationship to God should be.  And so it makes sense that if we break a Commandment we sin.

But conversely, if we think that we don’t sin if we keep the Commandments, then we are in big trouble.  Although I could argue that most of us really have trouble with the First Commandment, God first – really???  always??? first before me???  hmmmmm…..

If we define sin a bit differently, perhaps dig a bit deeper, we open up an entire new way of thinking.  Suppose we say that sin is anything that separates me from God.  Sin then becomes a lot more personal.  Something that may separate me may not separate you and therefore, my sin is not your sin, etc.  Do you see where I’m going?  For example, take something like fear or worry.  I may be a wonderful, Commandment abiding person, go to church, volunteer in my community, be patient, kind, a wonderful friend, etc.  People may look at me and think, “Wow, she’s got it all together, what a ‘saint'”.  And yet, if I am riddled with fear or anxiety, this is separating me from my God who says, ‘fear is useless, what is needed is trust’.  And so, this is my sin – my fear is separating me from God.  If you don’t struggle with fear or anxiety, then it may not be your sin…see how personal it all is?

We begin with the basics, the Ten Commandments, and then we move to the relationship, the intimate relationship and we ask, ‘What is it that separates me from God?’  And we try to become aware of it and name it.  We claim it as our ‘sin’.  We name it, we claim it, and then, with God’s Grace, we tame it. 

Sin, separation from God, hurts, kills…..but it doesn’t have the last word.  We come back (as Peter did), we come back as many times as necessary, and each time we return, we are welcomed with forgiveness and love.    We turn away, we pull away, we separate ourselves…..God searchs, waits and loves us back to the intimate relationship between Father (Mother) and child.

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5 Replies to “Sin”

  1. Wow … great post. Too many things here to discuss and explore.

    Let’s take one: Some of us are prone to fear and anxiety. Sometimes, unnnecessary anxiety. But anxiety and fear are part of our human nature; they come with the territory of being human. We can’t help it.

    You’re right of course that they should be replaced by trust in God. Some people, for a variety of reasons, struggle with that.

    When He created us God gave us many emotions such as hope, fear, anxiety, doubt, worry, trust and so on; in various proportions to variosu people. Some have more Faith and trust than me … because of their circumstances, their devotion, their prayers, or perhaps because they are better than me.

    I may struggle with doubts, worries, fear and trust. How much of that is due to my weakness and my fault as opposed to the proportion of these emotions I was created with compared to someone else?

    How much of my doubts, worries and fears are my own fault and my own sins; as opposed to the many elements that make me? Were I created to be a fearful worrier? For reasons best known to Himslef; perhaps as an example for others to do better?

    I don’t have any of the answers; albeit I and many may have struggled with them.

    Thanx Andie for a great thought-provoking post.

    God bless you.

  2. I once heard a sermon that spoke of despair as the primal sin. And that hope was the redemption. This is a challenging topic all the way around, but one that we must embrace and engage in healing for.

    We are never fully without sin… but we are never fully without hope either, unless we choose to be.

  3. I like the taming part and always think of the Little Prince by Exupery when the fox said he couldn’tplay with the prince because he had not yet been tamed and the prince doesn’t understand what tamed means

    “It is an act too often neglected,” said the fox. It means to establish ties.”

    “‘To establish ties’?”

    “Just that,” said the fox. “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world . . .”

    “I am beginning to understand,” said the little prince. “There is a flower . . . I think that she has tamed me . . .”

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