What Is Sin?

By Carol McClain @carol_mcclain


Oh, our God is a big meany, you think.

“Don’t do this. Don’t do that.”

We can never do anything that’s fun. Sin proves God doesn’t love us.

But what exactly is sin? Is it a list of do nots given willy-nilly by a capricious diety?


When you consider sin, it always is something hurtful:

  1. It hurts us. Envy, pride, sexual promiscuity, drunkeness, drug use, overeating… These and the myriad other issues destroy us. Some give us diseases, others break down our bodies. Envy and pride destroy our joie de vivre. Sin hurts us. Foul language, too, denigrates us. Makes the world look on us a coarse people.
  2. It hurts others. Gossip, thievery, fighting, lust, lying… Once more fill in the blanks. These sins destroy others. Gossip, whether true or not, destroys someone’s reputation. We never “gossip” about our neighbor who feeds the poor or builds homes for Habitat. It’s always something salacious. Thievery takes another’s hard earned (or not hard earned) goods. Lust lures others into our sexuality.
  3. It hurts God, in that it destroys our relationship with Him. Taking God’s name, not respecting worship, following other gods–all these weaken our relationship with our Creator.

God loves us.

It doesn’t matter what we’ve done. As a parent loves her wayward child, God loves us. We can find forgiveness if we want it. He says to us, “You are all together beautiful, my love, there is no flaw in you” Song 4:7

The prohibition for sin keeps us from getting into problems that hurt us, that destroy lives, that fills us with guilt and pain. Like a parent who lays down the rules for her child, she does so because she loves that child and wants no ill to come to it. Again, God tells us, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Her. 29:11

Rest assured. God is not a party-pooper looking to make you miserable. He’s a doting Father determined to bless you.


  1. vera deford says:

    very well said, “God is love”

  2. June Foster says:

    Very nicely said, Carol. And quite appropriate for today’s world.

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