Sin Revisited

Day 22 of 29 Days of Spiritual Wellness. 29 Days Template (20)

The poet Kahlil Gibran has some interesting words to share with us:

You are good when you are at one with yourself.  Yet when you are not one with yourself you are not evil.  For a divided house is not a den of thieves; it is merely a divided house.”


If we are not evil when we are not one with ourselves, then what are we?

We.  Are.  Still.  Good.

This brings up the question of sin.  How does it fit into this?

Do you get visions of little devils dancing around in your head?

The word for “sin” in the ancient Greek (in which the New Testament was written) is “hamartia” (ἁμαρτία), which transliterated means “miss the mark.”

Over the centuries, the word sin has collected a lot of cultural and religious baggage. It was held over the heads of people to scare them into what churches (some, not all) and society considered “proper” behavior. It has been misused, abused, and taken out of context.

The best way to deal with sin is to understand it for what it is.  Sin is what occurs when our God-given passions are out of alignment with one another.  This is disharmony.  It does not mean we, as beings, are “bad” or “evil.”  As Gibran put it, it is the result of “good tortured by its own hunger.”

During the Dark Ages and Medieval times, most people were illiterate and uneducated; only priests and very wealthy people were educated, and because of this privilege, they were able to control (and manipulate) the masses for their purposes. And more often than not, they missed the mark by abusing their power with statements like, If you don’t do this or that in the name of God, you’re a sinner! You’ll be damned and go straight to hell!  You’re made to feel guilty by others.

It’s no wonder people began to fear the word (and God for that matter).

So, when we strip away all of the baggage and misinterpretations, we have a word with a simple definition that points toward the human condition. Because we are human, we are born with some abnormalities, thus the term “original sin.”

We are not perfect.

We are born into ignorance. And if we are not careful, others will capitalize on that ignorance to bring out the worst in us or to keep us under their thumbs.

But the concept of “original sin” is not without its flaws.  It is a self-fulfilling prophecy because it expects the worst in human nature.  This puts all responsibility on God instead of on us.  How selfish of us.

Yet, if we are created in God’s image and likeness, this means that God is not the only creator in the creation process.  If God is not the only creator, who else is involved?

We are.

This means we are responsible for what happens.  We are good people who sometimes do bad things.  We miss the mark.

But when we are at one with ourselves — when we are at one with our Creator — we hit our target each time.

Gibran knew this, as did Jesus.  Jesus knew we weren’t perfect, but he taught that we could strive toward perfection, or wholeness:  “Therefore, be perfect [whole], even as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Mt 5:48).

Sin is nothing more than a misdirection of our energies, away from our authentic selves and away from God. The biggest sin is remaining ignorant and blind to our authentic selves by letting our flaws (and others) hold us down.

We are perfect in our creation, though not always in our behavior, and if we want wholeness in our lives, then we must be willing to take responsibility for our actions because we are co-partners — co-creators — with God.

4 thoughts on “Sin Revisited

  1. Andrea

    Wow. Deep and profound. Woo-hoo! Loved this post. When we take responsibility for our actions rather than passing the buck on to some higher authority it is much more empowering. We accept responsibility and we step into our power. So often the meaning of words are changed over time, either on purpose or maybe the original meaning just gets lost along the way. I love hearing about the history of the meaning of words and how they have been changed, and what a difference it makes when we re-read something with the original meaning intact. ‘Sin is nothing more than a mis-direction of our energies’ now doesn’t that put a whole new context on what it means to be human? Yes indeed. Much food for thought here, I really enjoyed reading this post, and will be re-reading again to more fully digest all the nuggets. Thank you!

    1. Penny McDaniel Post author

      Hi Andrea!

      It’s amazing how the meanings of words have changed over the years. Much of the meaning is lost in translation, particularly the nuances that can not be fully translated.

      Saving sin saves us. We see it in a whole new light. Does it mean to go out and continue doing horrible things? No. Of course not. But because of our relationship and partnership with our Creator, we want to be better people.

      I’m so glad this resonated with you.
      Thank you.

  2. Andrea Meredith

    I first learned of Gibran through my dad. He had a copy of The Prophet. I used to have a copy of Sand And Foam. I think when I do something I shouldn’t I am only dishonoring myself. I am a huge believer in taking responsibility for my actions. Yes, we have choices. We had better be prepared to deal with the consequences if our choices are not smart. And enjoy the light when our choices are productive. Great post!! Cuz Andrea XXX

    1. Penny McDaniel Post author

      Hello Cuz!

      Gotta love Gibran and his wisdom! I first learned of him through my mother, who also had a copy of The Prophet on her nightstand. I loved reading it as a child. And you’re right — when we do something that is not in alignment with our Higher Self, we dishonor ourselves. Well put.

      Thanks for stopping in and sharing.


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