I Hate That Churchy Word, "Sin"

Updated: May 4

Sin, bleh! What is sin, anyway? Misbehaving? Doing bad things?

I don't think that is what sin is at all! Contrary to most church doctrine, I don't believe that sin is a behavior.

Sin is the belief in a lie.
Spiritual growth is the process of turning our beliefs in lies into beliefs in Truth.

We live our entire lives based on what we believe about who we are, who others are, and who God is. Everything we do, everything we decide, everything we feel and experience, is motivated by these beliefs.

If I believe that God is indifferent, it doesn’t much matter whether I do right or wrong, so I live my life in a way that maximizes my physical pleasure and security while I am on this earth. (I may still behave generally well because I need society’s approval in order to get that pleasure and security.) If I believe that I am not inherently lovable, I will self-sacrifice and please others in order to earn love. If I believe that others are mostly good, I will get abused and taken advantage of over and over again.

Each of these beliefs is a lie. The result of believing these lies is behaviors that are dysfunctional. These dysfunctions result in suffering for us and suffering for others.

If we’re believing lies and they are causing us suffering, why don’t we just change our beliefs? According to Jordan Peterson, we cannot make ourselves believe anything different.

How do we get out of this pickle?

Only God can change our fundamental beliefs. He can correct them in an instant, if only we ask. But a lot has to happen inside of us before the asking will be effective.

  • We must venture into humility enough to become somewhat self-aware of our thoughts, our emotions, and our motivations.

  • We must give up trying to make things happen our way enough to allow a different perspective to enter into our psyche. We must be willing to fully feel our emotions.

  • We must face our fear enough to trust that God is bigger than we are and that He can and wants to help us, not hurt us.

With each insight, with each revelation of Truth, we gain a new perspective, one that is more closely aligned with God’s perspective, which is Absolute Truth. These insights often take 12-24 hours to come to us after we ask. They can come in the form of a movie scene, a line from a book, a thought that hits you while brushing your teeth, a friend’s comment.

God’s insights never cause shame. They never cause guilt. They always give you understanding. They always give you freedom. They always give you compassion for yourself and compassion for others.

When you learn that Truth is there for the asking, that there is no limit to how many insights you can ask for, that He answers invariably and gently, you begin to grow intentionally. You begin to recognize the areas in which you need help and you begin to use your spiritual skills on purpose to seek Truth.

Spiritual growth is addictive, for each Truth that is revealed to you brings such freedom from bondage to lies (sin) and such clarity! Once addicted, you now have control of your spiritual ship, you have pointed it in the direction of righteousness, and you have begun rowing with intention and dedication.

You have found the true purpose to your life. You have begun the journey home.

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It took me three years to realize that I am a fallen creature. I have been struggling and groping my way back to the Light. Here are a few things that I have learned along the way....

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