Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What is a Sin?

Is it really as simple as "Good Vs. Evil?"
I thought about this today as I read a cute Facebook joke from a friend's status: Did you know it was a sin to make coffee? Yep. In the Bible it says, "Hebrews." 

The quote made me smile but it also made me think. We grow up being told what is right and what is wrong. Not everyone agrees on those issues either. There are some huge debates over issues such as gay marriage, plural marriage, drinking, and even dancing. So if some believe it and some don't - is it really a sin?
According to a sin is defined as:


1 noun, verb, sinned, sin·ning.

transgression of divine law: the sin of Adam.
any act regarded as such a transgression, especially a willfulor deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle.
any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, lapse,etc.; great fault or offense: It's a sin to waste time.

So, here is a dilemma. First, if you go with "divine law" who gets to decide what is divine? Some people have issues with the idea of God. Then there are those that do not worship the same God or who have a God that seems to have differing ideas on what people should be doing. Which is the same problem with the "religious" aspect of number 2.  And of course we have those Frisbeetarians that worship the almighty Frisbee and it's freedom. Not much structure there to speak of.  A sin here might be missing the catch - how does that transgression get punished?

So this brings us to number 3. Each of us might have things we regret in life. However, what one person regrets another might not. What one considers to be reprehensible to one might not be to someone else. A lot of what we do has been instilled in us from our childhood and the ideas that others around us have felt or thought. No two people think exactly alike. 

There are certain social issues that most all of us find "reprehensible" such as criminal actions against other people. We want those people held accountable. Sometimes that doesn't happen and a majority of people become irate. You see this happen when a person literally gets away with murder. 

Now, writing this as a woman and having my own thoughts would be a sin in some countries. It might even be punishable by stoning. I don't live in those countries. Thinking about it, I don't think it's fair. A lot of people from the same type of culture I was raised feel the same way. So, they have created groups to change those cultures and make them more aware of how what they do and believe is wrong.

Do we have that right? To trounce in and tell people that what we think they are doing is wrong? Maybe? 

I think the answer lies in actually evaluating things. If you honestly in your heart believe that something is sinful - it is - for you. However, there are those out there that don't believe in sin at all. No matter what you say or what you do you may never be able to convince them you are right. 

So my thought is this - why not live by what you believe and feel is right. The only person that should judge you is yourself because you are the only one that truly knows what is in your heart. Allow your friends to help support you, but don't base your life trying to live by what others expect of you. You'll never win and you'll be miserable. 

So here is my definition of sin: "1. Going against and doing what you know and feel is wrong. 2. Not respecting the believes and ideas of others and imposing your thoughts on others to follow."

It's okay to feel someone else is wrong. It's even okay to tell them you feel that way. It's just not okay to judge them. Even the Bible says, "Judge not lest ye be judged." (Matthew 7:1)
And if you believe in Christianity then also remember this: "Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way." (Romans 14:13)

Confucius said, "The more a man meditates on good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large." 

So, in my opinion, supporting your friend or family member is much more effective than judging him. Doing the contrary is sinful.