If you call something sin, you are met with a comment like, “don’t judge,” and probably everyone in the room scowling at you.
The Bible does tell us not to judge others because that is God’s job and He will do it righteously when the time comes for each of us. But the crazy part is that we are not only being asked not to condemn sin, but to bless clear acts of sin.
So what should we do when faced with discussions of what is sin and what is not sin? It is very important that we, as Christians, know what to do, otherwise, when we are in a room while issues of the world are being discussed, we will sit timidly quiet while we know that something other than the truth is being spoken. On the other hand, it is also not our job to fix everybody in the room with a heavy handed Bible thump.
The truth is that sin is not a worldly term; it is a “religious” term. According to the dictionary, it means “a transgression of divine law.” Adam and Eve were the first of these transgressors. But the issue of sin doesn’t rest just on the fact that they ate the forbidden apple. It rests on the fact that they didn’t care what God said. They decided what they wanted to do based on their own desires. Listen, if they had not eaten the apple, not because God said not to eat it, but because after weighing all the pros and cons, they came to the conclusion that they didn’t want to eat the apple, they still would have sinned because they were not being obedient to God. He wasn’t even in the equation. They just did what they wanted to do. Does that put it more in perspective for you?
So, how do we handle a question of sin? We don’t, we let God handle it. As Christians we don’t live under the law, we live under grace. So in a room where the question of what transgresses God’s law comes up, we can confidently state that the question is irrelevant. The true question is whether or not the person asking really cares about what pleases God. If they don’t then, in their world, nothing is sin. If they do, then the discussion will turn from what the dominant opinion in the room is to “What does God say about that?” At that point someone should begin to quote scripture or pull out a Bible so that the truth can be told. If the Word of God is opened and it is reverently requested that God speak to the hearts of his people on the subject, He will. The question of sin will be no more because a person seeking after the heart of God will find it.
Michele Clark Jenkins, co-founder of Sisters in Faith, is the senior director of the consulting group for Griffin & Strong, PC., Attorneys & Public Policy Consultants. She was co-creator of Real: The Complete New Testament Biblezine, writer/editor of the Children of Color Storybook Bible, and contributed to the Women of Color Devotional Bible and Wisdom and Grace Devotional Bible. She is also the author of She Speaks: Wisdom from the Women of the Bible to the Modern Black Woman, in stores January 15, 2013 (Thomas Nelson).