Why is Sin So Important?
When I was 6 or 7 years old my mother took us grocery shopping at the local A&P. Sometimes Mom would give us a nickle to buy some candy but on this particular day, I had no money and Mom said no to my inquiry for candy.
I remember standing in the checkout line, smelling the fresh ground coffee and looking at the Life Saver candies just inches away from my eyes. As I gazed longingly at that multicolored package I could almost taste that wonderful sweetness. The temptation was too much to bear and since my mother was chatting with the checkout lady I reached over, grabbed the candy and quickly stuffed it in my pocket.
I thought I had gotten away with my crime and once I got home I opened the candy and began to enjoy my prize. However, Mom did not miss the fact that I was eating candy after she had given me a firm no. Finally, after a couple of failed attempts at lying I confessed that I had stolen the candy from the supermarket.
Looking back, I really appreciate my mother's response to my little “innocent” larceny. She promptly packed me into the car and drove back to the store. I was going to have a little meeting with the manager. Mom was going to make me tell him what I had done. To say I was scared is to put it mildly.
I still remember being terrified as I looked up at Mr. Stiles and told him what I had done. But Mr. Stiles reacted in a very unexpected way. He smiled at me and said, “Oh that's okay. It's just a little pack of candy. You can have it.” I thought to myself, “Wow! This is cool. I get the candy after all and I'm not in trouble.” But I had failed to consider the “Mom factor”. With one fell swoop my hopes for an amiable settlement to my little “faux-pas” was shattered. Firmly; without hesitation my mother said, “No. What he did was wrong. He cannot have the candy.” Then she made me give the candy back to the manager, gave me a nickle to pay for the candy and told me I was going to have to work off the nickle, plus reparation. Ouch! This did not turn out as planned.
Sin is not a popular word in today's culture. We prefer less offensive terms like “He had poor judgment” or “She made a mistake”. Was what I did a sin? Yes, by God's standards it certainly was. But I was just a kid, right? True, but in God's eyes, sin is sin regardless of who commits it. I fell short of God's standards. I took something that did not belong to me and I lied about it. I committed a sin compounded by more sin.
You may wonder why it is that Christians make such a big deal out of sin. It's because when we sin we have missed God's standard and our sin separates us from him. That's why the Bible says God hates sin, because it separates him from those he loves.
In the Bible sin literally means “to miss the mark”. God has set a standard and anyone who does not meet these standards “misses the mark”. You see, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Rom 3:23) Sin has consequences, separation from God being the most serious.
All of us have sinned and fallen short of God's standards. But the good news is that God sent his Son Jesus Christ to accomplish what we could not; to live a perfect sinless life. For us to be forgiven of our sins we need only ask Jesus to take our sins, ask forgiveness and give our lives to him.
Looking back I have to say that my mother handled this incident exactly the way she should have. Her actions had a profound impact on me. Thank you Mom, but more than that, Thank You Jesus!