What Attitude Should We Have Toward Sin?

If God Hates Sin, Shouldn't We Hate It Too?

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Let's face it. We all sin. The Bible makes that clear in Scriptures like Romans 3:23 and 1 John 1:10. But the Bible also says that God hates sin and encourages us as Christians to stop sinning:

“Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them.” (1 John 3:9, NLT)

The matter becomes even more complicated in view of chapters like 1 Corinthians 10 and Romans 14, which deal with topics such as the believer’s freedom, responsibility, grace, and conscience. Here we find these verses:

1 Corinthians 10:23-24
“Everything is permissible”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. (NIV)

Romans 14:23
…everything that does not come from faith is sin. (NIV)

These passages seem to suggest that some sins are debatable and that the matter of sin is not always “black and white.” What is sin for one Christian may not be sin for another Christian.

So, in light of all of these considerations, what attitude should we have toward sin?

A Correct Attitude Toward Sin

Recently, visitors to the About Christianity site were discussing the topic of sin. One member, RDKirk, gave this excellent illustration demonstrating a biblically correct attitude toward sin:

“In my opinion, a Christian’s attitude toward sin–specifically his own sin–should be like a professional baseball player’s attitude toward striking out: Intolerance.

A pro ball player hates to strike out. He knows it happens, but he hates when it happens, especially to him. He feels bad about striking out. He feels a personal failure, as well as having let down his team.

Whenever at bat, he tries hard not to strike out. If he finds himself striking out a lot, he doesn’t have a cavalier attitude about it–he tries to get better. He works with better hitters, he practices more, he gets more coaching, perhaps he even goes to a batting camp.

He is intolerant of striking out–which means he never considers it acceptable, he’s never willing to simply live as someone who always strikes out, even though he realizes it happens.”

This illustration reminds me of the encouragement to resist sin found in Hebrews 12:1-4:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. (NIV)

Here are a few more resources to keep you from striking out in your struggle with sin. By God’s grace and the aid of the Holy Spirit, you’ll be hitting home runs before you know it: