Sin, not a popular party topic. Not a popular topic at all. It seems that in our world today we don’t talk about sin. Is sin even real? Is sin the invention of religious types to keep the masses under control? After all, what’s the big deal? We should just “live and let live.” Let’s stop forcing our views on others. Doesn’t all that sound nice? There is only one problem. It is wrong thinking.
What is sin? It is a loaded word. We hear followers of Jesus proclaim they are sinners (sometimes proudly so). Yet have someone point at us and yell “sinner” and I imagine we would not react positively.
What does the Bible say about sin? A fair amount. It says the wages of sin is… death. Not good. But what is it?
Literally, the word means to miss the mark. Imagine yourself with a bow and arrow. Hundreds of yards away is the target. You pull back the bow, aim as best as you can and release. The arrow flies towards the target and…misses. It does not even hit the target, never mind the bullseye.
To sin is to miss the mark.
To miss the mark reveals at least two important points. Point One: you know there is a target. Point Two: you are aiming for it!
The phrase “live and let live” is to say there is “no target”. Anything goes. There is only one BIG problem with that logic. You are not living in the world by yourself. You and I are in relationship with other human beings and the creation. Everything we do, everything, impacts another person and the world around. Lock yourself in a room for your life and never interact with another person impacts them. They (we) will lack you in our lives. Our lives will be diminished.
As we interact with others, and the creation, we either are building them up, or tearing them down. There is no neutral ground.
In the midst of this world God has established the Target. God has said “live this way”. What way is that?
Love the Lord you God with all your heart, your mind, your soul, your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments lie all the Law.
There is a target.
There is another word we often hear when we talk about Sin. It is the word Repent. It literally means, turn around and face the target, take Aim!