A New Way to Look at Sin

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

What is sin? Although we tend to think of sin as acts of evil, immoral thoughts or deeds, or actions that violate God’s Word, James provides a different perspective: Sin is also anything we should have done but did not do.

As we examine the context of this verse (vs. 11-17), we see that sin can result from situations in which we excessively trust in ourselves, and do not humble ourselves before God.

We see this context in that we are not to “speak against one another.” We are to remember that “there is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy.” James reminds us that none of us is in a position to judge our neighbors. Simply being critical can be a sin in God’s sight. In fact, gossip is not just a bad idea but a sin!

We are warned about not being boastful or taking the future for granted. In the context of James’ teaching about sin, we see how it can be sinful to depend on our own plans and to realize that boasting is associated with pride and that “all such boasting is evil.”

If we trust in God, we will realize that we have nothing about which we can boast and that boasting, in His sight, demonstrates that we are thinking first about ourselves, not on God. This is sin.

Today, meditate on these things as you ponder your own life. Are there things you know you should be doing? Are you willfully ignoring some Biblical truths? Has God given you a burden that you have not followed? Are there people to whom He has called you to minister?

Remember that, in His sight, anything can be considered a sin if it is something you know that you should do be doing, but do not do.