Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sin, Sinning, and Sinner

The idea of sin, sinning, and being a sinner is not some new revelation.  It goes back to the Biblical times and probably even further.  When I look up sin in the Bible, one passage comes to mind.  Romans 1:18-32 is that passage.  I made mention of the aforementioned passage in a recent post in which I grappled with the topic of taking the Bible literally or not.

Talking with a friend about this passage before posting that entry, I understand that passage a lot better.  The Apostle Paul is not segregating one specific group of people such as gays.  He is saying we are all sinners.  People like to condemn other people or groups as sinners without first looking at themselves.  I've even been labeled a sinner.  I find it hypocritical that I am being labeled as a sinner when the person telling me that I am one is a sinner in their own right.

Who are we as mere mortals to judge people in this fashion?  The ultimate judgement will come when we die.  Or that is what is supposed to happen anyways.  But it is in our human nature to cast upon judgements of what someone does that we see as "not right."

I think of a quote by the poet Alexander Pope (1688-1744) who said "to err is human, to forgive, divine."  He is basically saying that any human can make a mistake thus we should try to forgive them just as God would show mercy and forgive sinners.

I myself at times find it hard to forgive.  It's something I struggle with.  I should forgive their sin and just move on.  But I'm not this perfect being that can easily do something like that.  Sure I'd like people to forgive the sins that I've done.  That will not always happen.  So I try to deal with it as best as I can and move on.

If you think this world is going to be free from sin, than you are oblivious.   A world free from sin is something to strive for, but it will never happen.  I'm a sinner and it's up to me just like it's up to you to change this.  I know it will take time.  But you have to take it one step at a time. 

1 comment:

Matthew said...

"I know it will take time. But you have to take it one step at a time."

Absolutely. Being a 'sinner' doesn't mean we cannot change. We may never be perfect (not possible in an evolving universe anyway) but we can always move forward from where we are, as you alluded to.

How then shall we live?

The issue of morality is another related and fascinating topic, as I'm sure you would agree that raping a child and stealing a Snickers bar are not the same just because they are both 'sins.'

This brings up some challenging questions that are worth exploring for all of us. How do we deal with a hierarchy of sins? How might we determine what that could be?