SIN! There, I said it. Now let's talk about it. Most simply stated, sin happens when we do something God doesn’t want us to do OR when we don’t do something God does want us to do. The easiest way to understand sin is to compare it to a parent-child relationship. For example, if a mother told her son not to touch something dangerous, but he touched it anyway, that would not make her happy. Or, if she told her son to pick up his dirty clothes, but he left them on the floor, that would not make her happy either. It’s the same way with God.
With this broad definition it is much easier to understand that no one is without sin. In Romans 3:23 the Bible makes it clear that we “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” In the early days, God's will was made known through His law. However, generation after generation failed to keep it perfectly. Many did well, but James 2 reminds us that the person who breaks one part of the law is as guilty as the one who breaks every part of it. This is not an easy concept for those of us who have grown up with the idea that the punishment should fit the crime. Should a liar receive the same sentence as a murderer? For that, today, I have no answer.
In Psalm 32 David writes about how his sin made him feel:
When I kept things to myself, I felt weak deep inside me.David realized that sin made him feel bad. He felt weak like you might feel at the end of a really hot summer day. He moaned and groaned and was miserable. But then something happened. David stopped trying to hide his sin. He talked to God about his sin. David told God he was sorry, and God forgave David. David felt different after God forgave him:
I moaned all day long.
Day and night you punished me. My strength was gone as in the summer heat. Selah
Then I confessed my sins to you and didn’t hide my guilt.
I said, “I will confess my sins to the Lord,” and you forgave my guilt. Selah
(Psalm 32:3-5, NCV)
Happy is the person whose sins are forgiven,
whose wrongs are pardoned.
Happy is the person whom the Lord does not consider guilty
and in whom there is nothing false.
(Psalm 32:1-2, NCV)
What does this mean for us? Well, David encouraged everyone to do the same thing that he did. He thought everyone should pray to God to ask for forgiveness. David understood that forgiveness would fill our hearts with joy that he called “songs of salvation.” How about you? Do you have the song of salvation in your heart?