Living Without Sin


#21

“If we say that we do not have any sin, we are deceiving ourselves and we’re not being truthful to ourselves.”

“Therefore, anyone who knows what is right but fails to do it is guilty of sin.”

As has been pointed out by others, it’s not only sins of commission, but more importantly sins of omission - are you really keeping the 2 Great Commandments perfectly (that is 24/7 and not only in external act, but thought, word, and with pure motivation). Do you ever sleep in on the weekend instead of serving your neighbor, ever spend money on a frivolous item or have a nice car or house that you could sell for the poor? Ever watch tv while homeless walk the street downtown that you could preach to? Are you doing good works out of fear of punishment or hope for reward rather than pure love for God and neighbor? The list is endless - there are over 1000 commandments in the NT - shalach.org/BibleSearch/NTCommandments.htm - good luck keeping them all. Does this discourage you? Good! The law (both the Old and New) does that, it’s not a checklist to help us think we’re doing a good job. That’s why we have an advocate with the Father.


#22

I read an orthodox Catholic book called “Frequent Confession” once and it said that when a person has stopped committing even venial sins than he may confess imperfections which are not sins. I would like to know how to confess sins of omission.


#23

Just like you’d confess sins of commission I guess - ‘I skipped school’, ‘I neglected to do any of the housework’, ‘I passed by someone who’d fallen over on the sidewalk and didn’t stop to see that they were OK’ or whatever.


#24

Any situation where, upon we reflection, we realized we did not act in a Christlike fashion.

For example, buying something unnecessary rather than making a contribution to the priests’ retirement fund, or being too busy to give a friend time to discuss a problem they were having.


#25

LilyM and Teflon93,

Thankyou so much for answering my question! What about not thinking of others, besides our friends, and not going out of our way to ask them how they are and listening to them? Is this too general? Should it be more specific?


#26

I think you’re on the right track. Specificity is definitely helpful. As you examine your conscience, you will naturally replay situations in your mind and ask, “What could I have done to be more Christlike?”

If you are prone to scrupulosity or perfectionism, you will want to be careful in this endeavor—the goal is not to beat yourself up, but to hone your conscience. If your conscience is already overhoned, this may not be the devotional practice for you.


#27

Hi Mark.The Church teaches that Jesus came down from heaven and was ‘made man’, so He suffered and went through temptation like any of us but did not sin. For further reading I have inserted a link from the catechism. **. **
usccb.org/catechism/text/pt1sect2chpt2art3.shtml

Further Paul says in the letter to the Philippians chapter 2:5-8 Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient `even’ unto death, yea, the death of the cross. In
Hebrews 2:17 -18 Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested and in Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested* as we are, yet without sin.*

So we find in these texts that Jesus though man did not sin so we too through him can lead sinless lives.

John in hisfirst letter Chapter 3:6 says
Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither knoweth him.

1PET 1:16 because it is written, Ye shall be holy; for I am holy.

1COR 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it.

Hope all this encourages you to persevere in your quest to lead a sinless life. Praying for you.


#28

I suffer Adam’s legacy; born in original sin and a sinner. But I remember God’s love for me and Christ’s redemptive act.

Jesus lived, suffered and died, not for the sinless but for the sinner. Thank God for this generous gift and the sacrament of penance.


#29

“Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither knoweth him.”

So, are you not sinning? Or do you not know Him? The same letter also says “If we say that we do not have any sin, we are deceiving ourselves and we’re not being truthful to ourselves” and “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us”

“If you are prone to scrupulosity or perfectionism, you will want to be careful in this endeavor”

Why? “Be perfect as your father in heaven is perfect” - that’s a command - sin is disobedience, disobedience is violating God’s commands. A lack of recognizing the full extent of the law’s demands (keeping them perfectly) is what leads people to think they are not sinning in the first place.

I will say that it seems RC theology actually does endorse the strong possibility of attaining a sinless life and keeping the law perfectly, otherwise the idea of the treasury of merit of the saints and associated superogatory works, implying that we can do more than the Law exacts (keeping the 2GC perfectly), does not make much sense. Although must not all Christians say “We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty”?


#30

Dear Mark - This is an excellent subject! Thanks for bringing it up.

It is great you made a decision in your life to walk with Jesus sincerely. I noticed your list of “things” you began to do was missing something - Confession! Yes, it is true we only need to go to Confession when we are guilty of Mortal sin, but Confessing Venial sins does a few things. First it gives us the grace to fight them. That’s the tops for me. It is the Sacrament of Mercy and the grace it imparts strengthens the soul to fight its sins. One of the other things frequent Confession provides is the habit of examining one’s conscience often. Then we know what to fight.

I would also like to mention your thinking is getting convoluted. If you only focus on your sins, you will get discouraged and might risk giving up entirely. That would be disasterous! Please praise God for the times you aren’t sinning! I’m quite sure there are hours in your day when you aren’t sinning! Thank God for them and give yourself a big pat on the back. After all, when we aren’t sinning, God is well pleased, even if there aren’t any emotions at all attached to this fact. Which brings me to another pitfall - using your emotional experiences as a guide to whether or not your sins are forgiven.

I need also to suggest you get your hands on a solid guide to the battle against sin. The Sinner’s Guide by Tan is really good, so is My Daily Bread or The Imitation of Christ. There are some really good books to use as a guide to living this thing right. If you’re serious try them.

Living without sin takes work and this is work on ourselves and many aren’t willing. Prayer is key. Pray for the willingness. Take on one fault at a time and WORK on it.

I’ll share a little of my own battle. I have a temper. You can imagine how that effects me. I’ve prayed to have it removed, the fault, but found it remains, so now I pray that God “save me” from being angry. I avoid things that might make me angry when I’m in one of those moods. I work on it. Each morning, after I make the Morning Offering, I also ask God for the grace for each days battle, i.e. “…and please keep me from being angry, and not react if ----- bothers me again today, and help me not overeat…etc.” This is my conversation with God beyond the rote prayers. Keeps me on my knees a few minutes more, but hey, it works for me.

At the end of the day I do a brief examination of conscience. I look over my day and see where I could’ve done better, but I also look at where I’ve done better. Then I “say” I’m sorry, resolve to work harder tomorrow and thank God for the grace as things improve. I also thank God for what I consider silly stuff like the rain, the birds, the trees, the sweet air, a good dinner or a good friend - silly stuff we all take for granted. Personally I think God isn’t thanked enough for what little we DO have!

To sum it up, in the morning I ask please help me…in the evening I say thank you for helping me.

Well, that’s enough from me on the subject for now. Thanks again for bringing it up and pray God give you the grace to see honestly how you’ve improved over these years (temperately of course!). Know He is well pleased with your efforts.

Peace,

Gail


#31

:thumbsup:

Hello Gail. I love these threads and posts that are so sincerely from the heart.

I think we too have to give thanks to God we even have the strength to try to avoid sin. As far as emotions and trying to avoid them, that is so very difficult, in fact probably impossible. What we must rememer is it isn’t the emotion that is sinful, but what we do with that emotion. Sometimes it is just so very hard to detach. Blessings on you.


#32

I personally believe we cannot live in this mortal world without committing sin. God knew man was weak, that is why he sent his only son Jesus to atone for the sins of the world.
I am an older man & have been through a lot, yrs of trying to give up certain sin, but never succeeded. Many people have tried all their lives to rid themselves of certain sins but never could. All God asks is that we try & when we fail, to confess, to get up & go on. God knows your heart & that U are trying, keep up the good fight of faith & if U fail, know that God is still there for You


#33

Hello,

Jesus Christ lived without sin (original or personal) and so did the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Other Saints, such as Saint John the Forerunner, Saint Joseph, Saint Elias, are piously believed to have never committed a personal sin, even though they were stained by original sin.

It is absolutely possible to live without sin. Christ told us to be perfect, and God wouldn’t command us to do something that was impossible with His help. But, due to our fallen nature, it is a rare thing to live without sin.

The thing that you must carry with you is this:

I may have sinned in the past, but that is over - I will sin no more. From this moment on I will live without sin.


#34

Gail,

Thank you for your reply and I must clarify something. You said I forgot to include confession. As a matter of fact, I do go to confession about every 3 to 4 weeks, usually right before the First Friday devotions.

The reason I originally brought up the subject was becasue in the Bible it says and I don’t know the exact quote but it goes something like this, Each of us sins at least seven times a day for we all have fallen short of the glory of God. I realize some people responded and said yes, it was possible to live without sinning but at the same time they also said it was very difficult.

Like you, I also do an Examination of Conscience but not every day, for me it’s usually about once a week. We all have our crosses and weaknesses to bear and I am no different. I pray everyday and ask God to help me overcome my weakness and I think He has been very generous towards me. Of course, the temptation is still here.

Thank you again for your post and I will keep you in my prayers.

Mark


#35

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