What is sin?
The original meaning of "sin" is, "to miss the mark".
What is the mark?
For Christians, the answer is easy.
Jesus, who the Bible reports,
said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."
But that still leaves us with,
What is the Way?
What is the Truth?
What is the Life?
To answer back,
isn't to say anything descriptive.
To follow his example,
healing, blessing, forgiving, feeding the poor, etc.,
in ways that apply as much to our times as to his
is wonderful and laudable,
but insufficient for these times.
Something much more is needed, in our times,
and in ways that Jesus didn't exemplify
and so in ways that we cannot "follow";
we must blaze a new trail,
walk a new path,
one which is ours,
but which was not His.
It has to do with recognizing "sin" as an action:
Sinning is an action.
Sins are not things we "have";
they are ways we miss the mark.
Those are our sins.
Sins are not "negative Brownie points"
not increments of guilt and self-subjugation.
A sin is a single act of missing of the mark.
You do not acquire sins like negative Brownie points;
they exist and persist as memories and consequences.
To miss the mark is an action.
Mediocrity qualifies as being sinful.
Hypocritical character also qualifies.
So do immaturity
ineptness, and incompetence.
They all miss the mark.
And in fact, the mark can never be reached
because perfection cannot be epitomized.
To say that perfection can be epitomized
is a giant leap into,
but mental mediocrity,
since "perfection" has no representation in memory.
Everything is imperfect,
and no final form exists in our imagination.
"They've gone about as far as they can go,"
we view as ridiculous
with maybe three exceptions,
which are beyond us
and to which some surrender in wild faith
with only an approximate idea
of what they are surrendering to.
There is something about the common usage of the word, "sin",
that seems to suggest something about where the evaluation, "sinful", primarily comes from.
It comes from outside us -- in the popular parlance usage.
Thus, the emphasis on
forgiveness of sins.
Someone else is forgiving us.
We may be relieved, in a way,
but still harbor a little guilt,
the ritual of confession.
to an external authority
(with or without any acts of repentence, on our part, that counter the residual effects of sin)
who forgives us.
Instead of relevant acts of repentence,
we have recitation of ritual phrases
we have scarcely touched
or perhaps have gone into, at depth,
without bringing equal depth to our awareness
of our sense of sin
thinking that guilt and remorse
which they do not
when relevant acts of repentence
And that's a sin.
It is a missing of the mark.
Instead of perfection, what there are
Perfection is never epitomized
and even the very fact of advertising existing
is a testimony to that fact,
"new", being a big "ad-word".
Sin is the ultimate fact of life,
but sin is the best approximation of perfection
at that particular place and time,
for that particular person.
no ultimate escape from consequences,
no vicarious correction of our dumbass actions
by some parental, supernatural intervention
no, "that's all right, darling"
while we remain irresponsible, self-indulgent
inept or incompetent.
We see things in terms of
causes or actions and
effects or consequences.
Grace and forgiveness
just displace accountability and responsibility
away from the perpetrator,
unless new action follows.
"By their fruits shall you know them."
Sin "is" bad karma.
It's bad aim
not just "naughtiness".
Bad aim is not something someone can forgive us out of
because it lives on in its aftereffects,
as aftereffects in ourselves,
unbalanced, stressful aftereffects
and aftereffects in others
that ultimately, we crave to correct
and so to bring to easy balance.
Nor is it something that someone else can substitutively pay for
as a parent might pay for the damage done by the acts of the child
for we know what we did and what we felt
and the consequences that followed
and we crave that the direness of consequences
that none may suffer
not merely that we be excused
since we cannot really be excused
even to ourselves
as long as we feel that someone has suffered.
Those are feelings that come from within
from our truer nature,
and not imposed by someone outside.
They are our impulse to meet the mark,
even if imperfectly.
More than forgiveness and personal grace
something else is called for:
the true meaning of,
Here, someone might enter the argument of, "grace".
Forgiveness is given the sinner, by grace.
How nice for the sinner.
Well, grace had better be followed by action closer to the mark, in future.
"You are forgiven. Go, and sin no more."
So, either way you slice it, change of action (in relevant terms),
Sin isn't something we can have taken away from us.
Sin, as, "missing the mark"
may have consequences that may be taken care of, for us,
but if the sin, the tendency to miss the mark,
is untouched, uncorrected, persistent,
the grace of forgiveness is of little but temporary avail.
And repenting (turning aright) of the sin
may be easier said, than done.
The most commonly available means of repentance are of dubious effectiveness.
Hence, the un-noticing, witless use of the word,
to denote the concentration of sinning
into an institution
where little, if any, repentence goes on or is expected.
The word, "penitentiary",
allows and expects copping out.
And so it is with sinning, in general.
returners to the institution of sin
-- and I'm not talking about "The House of the Rising Sun".
That would be the least of it.
It's the entrapment of ourselves
in involuntary error and limitation
and in the degree of difficulty we experience in changing.
I knock at the door:
Experiment with a key to release yourself
from the disgrace
of copping out on your own repentance.
Explore a way to release yourself
from the penitentiary of an unfulfilled life
constrained by the sense of sin
into being small and ineffectual
or pent up and bursting
into the freedom to alter sin
into blessings that may be expanded into the world
intending to be heard
intending to be shared.
Do that thing:
The Gold Key Release
Grab that thing!
Then let it go.