In my apparently never ending need to define absolutely everything, (e.g. what “bless the food” means or “what is the church?”) I am continuing my “What is…. ?” series, with a topic that I have had a hard time defining in the past.
What, really, is sin? Not so much “what are some examples of sin…” because we all know there are endless ways and means TO sin. What IS it?
How do you define it?
I have often read from those who have left the church about the very idea of sin being silly. I can’t blame them, because for a long time I didn’t really know what it meant either. Missionaries trying to convince people of their sins, in order to help them see they needed a savior seemed a little strange.
My paradigm shifted when I began to think of what was most important to me in my faith (right after charity of course!): personal growth. From that point onward, “sin” became anything that thwarts, disrupts, or otherwise damages my progress.
In addition, while I believe there may be many universal “sins,” there may be some things that stunt my growth that do not harm others. We all have to figure that out on our own.
Looking at the LDS.org definition, I don’t really see a conflict with my definition either, perhaps just a different angle:
“To commit sin is to willfully disobey God’s commandments or to fail to act righteously despite a knowledge of the truth.”
God’s basic commandments? Love others. Love God. Be perfect. We are all “sinners” in the sense that we all do things that stunt our growth from time to time. That is NORMAL. We are here to learn from our mistakes, our sins, and to grow. To me, progression is the most important key, not being “worthy” vs. “unworthy.” We are all somewhere on the worthiness (read: progression) spectrum.
What does sin mean to you? How do you define it?