Is Sin Bad?

July 3, 2007

  So, before you grip your keyboard with both hands and thrust your head toward your screen thinking that you must have read that title wrong, let me explain.  Sin, by nature and at it’s core is obviously bad.  God wants nothing to do with sin.  He tells us to go and sin no more.  Sin is the root cause for our downfall.  Here is my question to you.  Have you ever sinned, asked for forgiveness and not come out a stronger Christian because of it?  Personally, each and every time I sin, I end  up with a stronger faith in God, a greater appreciation of His Grace, and an empathy for those who struggle with that sin on a regular basis.

      That being said, I could never condone sinning as an effective means to building one’s faith.  Just because God can turn our short-comings into something good doesn’t mean we couldn’t have learned the same things and come to just as good an appreciation of God without sinning.  God’s Word is sufficient.  In it, we have all we need to be the type of Christian that God wants us to be.  Unfortunately, we don’t always go looking for solutions to our problems in His Word.  I could go on and on  about this point, but it is a frequent enough topic for sermons, studies and blogs that I think you could find more on this pretty much anywhere.  Let me move on.

      Recently, I was forced to admit to myself that I have been dealing with a sin that I kept trying to justify and explain away as someone else’s fault.  God decided to wake me up.  Ever since college, the sound of an alarm sends shivers through my body because it always meant that I had hit the snooze button one too many (sometimes 3 or 4 times too many) and I was late for class.  Well, I had been trying to hit the snooze button on God and he finally sounded the alarm.  Let me tell you, the sound of my alarm clock would have lulled me to sleep compared to God’s wake up call. 

      Once He got my attention, it seemed so clear to me what I had been doing and I almost became depressed because I thought to myself, “how can God forgive me this sin when it is so hideous?”  I found that making me aware of my sin was only the first part of God’s plan in this.  I wanted forgiveness, but my own self-condemnation kept me from actually submitting to Him and letting Him take it away.  It became a process of really looking at the nature of sin and the part it played in my life.   I realized that God would not have made me aware of that sin if He wasn’t willing to forgive me of it.  If He would have been unwilling to take it away from me, then He would have just let me keep sinking deeper into the hole that it was creating.

    Then I started comparing my sin to other people’s sins and I remember thinking that this sin I considered so hideous was nothing compared to some of the sins other people were committing.  WHOA !  WAIT !  I stopped myself right there.  There I was again, trying to justify my sin.  My sin was just as bad as anyone else’s.  On the flip side, my sin was no worse than any other sin that God has dealt with and forgiven before either.  My head started to spin.  Was I good?  Was I bad?  Was I neither?  Was I both?  Was I psychologically sound?  The latter was probably closer to the truth than any of the others. 

     I am glad to be able to tell you that I was finally able to come to terms with my sin, ask forgiveness from God and with His incredible strength and help, ask those whom I had affected for their forgiveness as well.  Through this, I have learned two things, well, three things, oh, ok, lots of things, but two things that have really changed the way I think about sin.  The first is to never judge a person by how bad their sin may seem to me.  It is all seperation from God.  The second is to never think that I am beyond forgiveness because my sin is, in my eyes, greater than others.  God does not want us to compare our sins to other peoples’ sins at all.  The issue is between me and God.  Admittedly, others may be effected by my sin, but that is a consequence of that sin, not really the heart of the matter.  As a result, I must first ask forgiveness of God because I think it is impossible to truly ask forgiveness of others if I have not been forgiven by God first. 

     Well, this post didn’t really follow the path I originally intended it to, but I’m sure God has a reason for why it went this way.  I am finding that I can’t go an hour without being touched by God’s wonderful Grace and forgiveness.  I hope you can find that too.



  1. Hey Javaguy,

    Nice to see you post again. Thanks for sharing your struggles with those of us who read your blog. It always does my heart good to see someone humble themselves to do so.

    I think there is one thing we should all be concerned about and that is sin of a habitual nature. If someone continues in the same sin then are they really learning anything from it? I have often thought of this because I have a good friend who was a professing believer who still falls prey to his fleshly desires in a certain sin. This is committed over and over again. I believe the bible teaches that someone who continues or practices the sin will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21) So I and others have been trying to teach the gospel to him, but will have none of it. I would imagine this would be a sad position to be in. But God’s grace is abundant and I worship a sovereign God who works all things according to His own will.

  2. Javaguy,

    Thanks for sharing.I can totally relate with the times we attempt to justify our sin, especially by comparing ourselves to other people. I have found it helpful to remember that I am always a worse sinner that I think I am and that Christ is a much greater God and Savior than I comprehend Him to be.


  3. Hi, Javaguy,

    On your original question, “Is sin bad?”, although as you say the answer is pretty obvious, at the same time there are at the fringes of that questions a lot of issues to deal with that are really interesting!

    * the “genesis” of sin — whether you believe God permitted sin to enter creation or He ordained it or even He caused it (not the view I hold to), is sin…necessary? If it’s necessary, then it serves some purpose. If God permitted/endorsed/ordained/caused it, then in some larger conceptual sense (as opposed to in any particular individual’s life), is it all bad?

    * A friend of mine brought up the other day the case of her sister, who had a child out of wedlock. I’m not sure what the status of her soul was or is, but this child is loved and the sister is now married (not to the father) and living a stable life. There’s no question that sexual immorality is a sin. But something good came *out of* that sin. I’m not sure that’s the most appropriate way to characterize it (“for the wages of sin is death”!) though.

    * “Should we sin all the more so that we experience grace all the more? God forbid!” But I found your point here thought-provoking. It reminded me of the philosophical argument about the presence of good and evil — that we would not recognize or rejoice in “good” if we did not have “evil” as a point of comparison. Had I lived up to Jesus’s command to “be perfect,” would I recognize the ultimate perfection that is in Christ? Well, of course this line of thinking is entirely philosophical because “all have sinned and fall short.”

    Anyway, lest you have doubts, I could never try to argue anything other than “sin = bad.” But I do think that, like many of concepts we kind of take for granted, it’s an interesting idea to explore.

  4. Pointnine,

    Great thoughts. You are right, I hadn’t thought of all the deeper philosophical questions that could come from it. I think the biggest thing to remember is that any benefit that comes from sin is the result of defeating that sin with the guidance of Christ. The moment we stop relying on Christ for our strength is the moment sin loses it’s benefits(loosly said).

    As to some of those deeper questions, well, I’ll leave those to the experts. (unless, of course, I am hit with some grand insite). Thanks for visiting.

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