What Is Sin

“Sin” is a word you might hear thrown around a lot, but most people don’t stop to define what it actually means. Perhaps you associate it with threats of hellfire, or perhaps you’re offended by the term. After all, you’re a pretty decent person. You generally try to do the right thing. Sure, you might accidentally make a mistake now and then, but you certainly aren’t a “sinner.”

Well, the term “sin” in the original Greek simply means “missing the mark.” So, imagine you’re playing darts, and you’re aiming at the bull’s eye. You carefully line it up, get ready to throw, watch it fly…then it lands off to the side.

The same idea is applied in “sin.” But in order to define what sin is, you need to define what you’re aiming at. What’s your target?

Within the context of the Bible, the target is perfectly following God’s standard of holiness. This involves perfectly following all of God’s laws every second of every day.

Seems easy enough. You shall not steal, you shall not murder, you shall not worship false idols…You probably haven’t robbed a bank, murdered anyone, or bowed down to a statue of Zeus any time recently. So you should be good, right? Well…let’s take a closer look.

Have you ever told a white lie to avoid getting in trouble? Your boss walks into your office and asks if you finished the project you were supposed to submit by now. You say you’ve been working on it nonstop all week and will give it to him soon…but you’ve been slacking off scrolling through Instagram on company time, and the project is nowhere near done.

Have you ever judged someone based on their appearance or actions? Have you ever thought to yourself, “She hooked up with some random guy at the bar again last night—what a slut!” or “Damn, he’s ugly. What a good-for-nothing slob. No wonder no one likes him”?
Maybe you’ve never cheated on your wife. But have you ever looked at a smoking hot woman—either in real life or in a video—and allowed your mind to wander, imaging what it would be like to be with her?

My point here isn’t to bang you over the head with a Bible, saying you’re a terrible person. Literally every single person on the planet sins. Everyone misses the target. In simple terms—no one is perfect.

But this does not excuse the sin or mean it’s okay. What it does mean is that you need to recalibrate your aim. If you’re aiming at that bull’s eye and miss, you don’t just say, “Screw this,” and throw the dart at the other wall. You figure out what you did wrong last time and try again.

However, you’re never going to hit that bull’s eye on your own. You need a coach to teach you how to hit it. That’s where God comes in. He wants to guide you and help you—you just need to be willing to listen and follow His instructions.

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