Sin is not a broken rule, but a broken relationship and broken trust.
May 16, 2017, 5:00 AM

Sin, we can all point it out; even see it in our own lives. It confronts us anytime we turn on the television or open up the newspaper. Feelings of shame, guilt and embarrassment accompany it. Murder, adultery, losing your temper, lying, and cheating on your taxes, the list could go on and on. The truth is that very few of us have a problem coming up with examples or symptoms of sin. Yet, trouble arises when we try to create a definition of it.


Even more danger occurs in the way we handle our sin. Whether we realize it or not, each one of us has created a complicated system in an effort to deal with our sin. Typically, we make our list of what sin is and it is equated with consequences. Each type of sin receives a ranking and is placed on a spectrum. A little sin like telling a white lie isn’t so bad when compared to taking someone’s life. Our perception is that all sins are not equal and some carry more weight than others.  In our mind, the greater the sin, the greater the punishment and distance it creates between God and us.


We all react differently to this perceived distance. The burden of shame is so great for some; they can’t deal with the distance and reason there can’t possibly be a God. Others indulge in all the world has to offer to numb the pain.  Some try to make up for all their mistakes by trying to change their behavior. Others feel the pressure to get in line and follow the rules all the while feeling that no matter how “good” they are, it won’t be enough.  The reactions are all different, but each person finds himself or herself in the same predicament, trapped in their system of dealing with sin.


Simply put, sin is forsaking God’s goodness and trying to find it somewhere else. Sin is not a broken rule, but a broken relationship and broken trust. We completely miss the point of the story about the Garden of Eden if we come to the conclusion that Eve’s sin was only eating a fruit off a tree.  This action served as a byproduct to her lack of trust in the character of God. It didn’t matter that she could roam in the garden or enjoy fruit from any other tree her heart desired.  Eve convinced herself that God was holding out on her so she went on a search to have life on her own terms.


“The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.” Genesis 3:6-7


She forgot about her relationship with God.  She forgot about all that God had given her and focused on the one thing in the entire garden she couldn’t have. In that fruit Eve traded in God’s goodness for the possibility of getting what she thought she wanted and deserved. We are all like Eve in that we place our trust in broken cisterns (money, power, jobs, relationships, and family) hoping we will find fulfillment in life. We go back to them time and time again as if we have amnesia, forgetting that they always leave us empty and thirsty for more. All of these longings point to our longing for God.


We must learn to see this lack of trust as an offense to the very character of God. In essence, we are telling the creator of the universe we have a better grasp than He does on what we truly need. The root of sin is distrusting God and trusting ourselves. This gets to the heart of what pride and control really is all about. The ultimate offense against God is that we do not trust Him.  It becomes crystal clear that the cross stands as the ultimate sign of love and sacrifice. Jesus didn’t come to create a religion; He came to restore a relationship and to show He can be trusted. His death becomes our death and His life becomes our life.


This is my Prayer: Father God, I desire to trust You in everything, but there are times when I doubt Your goodness. Lord help me to not look for other things for fulfillment, but to only look to You. Jesus You are my sustainer, provider, and savior. Thank you for restoring our relationship. In Jesus’ name, Amen.