“I do not understand what I do.
For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate to do.” Rom. 7:15
When the word sin is mentioned, what comes to mind? Does a list of thou shall not’s which you’ve come to realize are difficult to follow fill your thoughts? What is sin? Why should we do our best not to? How do we avoid it?
The Commandments are given to help us live a holy life, for the God that we serve is Holy and He wants us to be holy just as He is (1 Pet. 1:16), but sin is not just failure to follow the Law or certain restrictions; it is better defined as missing the mark that God has for our lives. God has this picture of how He wants us to live our lives. He has plans to give us hope and a future (Jer. 11:29), and He has work prepared in advance for us to do (Eph. 2:10); when we deviate from what He has in mind, we have then missed the mark and have therefore committed sin.
The rules that God has placed for us to follow are really there to protect us. An example is having a kid outside of wedlock. Although one can still live a decent life if that were to happen to them, but certain headaches could have been avoided if the couple didn’t engage in intercourse outside of marriage (you can mention that there is protection and birth control pills, but we’ll leave that for another article). Of course I understand that things happen and I point no finger; I neither have the right, nor am I able to. I mention this only to say that the rules or the Law is there to protect us, not to keep us from pleasure.
Apart from our own self protection, sinning separates us from God. In Gen. 3 after the disobedience, the very first act Adam and Eve do is cover themselves and hide.
Do something for me for a moment. Mentally take your light bulb out of your lamp and then turn your lamp back on. What would happen? I would say nothing and if nothing happens we remain in darkness. This is what happens when we sin, we disconnect ourselves from the source that gives us Light and Life and we remain in darkness and under the power of Death. However, there is a remedy and it is found in John 1:12, 13.
As human beings prone to sin, how then do we avoid sin or sin less and less? The problem is though the spirit is willing; the flesh is weak. Now there is a predicament. To be a Christian is extremely difficult and only a love of God can bring a desire to pursue this course.
So “How does a young man keep his way pure? By living according to His word” (Ps. 119:9) and hiding His word in your heart that you may not sin against Him (Ps. 119:11).”
That I would say is a very good beginning, but just like someone who is in love tries to do even more to please his/her lover; there is even more for us to do if we are to please the lover of our souls. We don’t do them for the sake of doing them; we do them so that we may become more and more like Him as we await His return.