Thursday, 6 September 2012

What is sin?

John (the Apostle) knows that we will never get love right if we don't get sin right, and the looming difficulty in getting sin right is our propensity to deny or minimize it. Euphemisms proliferate: mistake, bad call, poor judgment, error, wrong, negligent, slip, oversight, misstep, stupidity, screw-up, bungle, faux pas, and so on. But rarely, sin. We happen to live in a culture that has a low sense of sin. Here I distinguish sin from immorality or crime. Sin is a refused relationship with God that spills over into a wrong relationship with others - it is personal or it is nothing. Immorality and crime, on the other hand, are violations of rules or standards of the society, or violations of other people. Behavior is in question, not personal character. But sin is relational.
--p316, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places by Eugene Peterson, italics mine

I don't think Peterson is offering a definition of sin here, but that italicised sentence gives a pretty good summary of what sin is. Worth pondering on.

What's your relationship status with God?

(Image credit: DanAndJennifer)

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