When did “sin” come to equal “sex”? If you ask the person on the street about sin, you’ll soon hear the topic of unlawful sex come up. Maybe it’s that Puritanical streak we Americans carry. Compared to Europeans, we tend to be prudish. But there are at least six sins beside lust, and I would argue they are a lot worse.

Definitions of sin vary. I was taught that sin is anything that gets in the way of my union with God. The “archery definition”—sin means missing the bullseye (of perfection)—appeals to me, since it implies that at least I tried. Some of us say “the Devil made me do it” and put the blame on “temptation.”

The ancient Greeks saw pride as the primary sin, and the Bible pretty much concurs. Adam and Eve were looking to make themselves like God when they ate the apple. When we think we can fix, control, or change things through our own abilities or plans, we are showing our pride (arrogance). We trespass on the territory of others when we think we know better. Pride looms large in the lives of perfectionists, preachers, teachers, and bossy-boots of all kinds.

All faiths stress the importance of humility, the opposite of pride. Letting go of your arrogance, admitting that you don’t know and can’t fix it, leads to humility. You admit that you need help, and this invites you into relationship with others, which in turn opens you to love. Some of us call love “God.”

Note: this blog is from A Doubter’s Devotional 2, chapter 4, available here on Amazon:order here

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