In another post, someone said that he/she sins even though he doesn’t want to. IMO, that makes no sense.

Who has ever sinned against his will?

For something to be a sin, you have to do it wilfully. You have the choice to do the right thing or the wrong, and when you sin you choose the wrong.

You know that you are wrong even as you do these things, but you do them anyway.

If you didn’t know that what you’re doing is wrong, it wouldn’t be a sin. A 2-yr-old person who takes a candy bar from the shelf and eats it without paying for it isn’t sinning.
A 7-yr-old who takes the candy bar is sinning. He knows right from wrong.

On not wanting to sin.

As I said in the earlier thread, no one wakes up thinking that it’s a really grand day to go about sinning. (Well, except for sociopaths.) All of us strive to be good people, to follow the rules. But sometimes, even though we know it’s wrong, we commit a sin.

IMO, there’s no getting around the fact that when we sin we are doing what we want instead of what God wants.

Why do born again people think that they are the only ones who don’t wake up in the morning hoping to sin. They seem to think that they are the only ones who hope to live a good life.

What gives? Why do they think that “not wanting to sin” makes them different from those they don’t consider born again (saved)?

I see it a little differently. I do want to please God. I do want to follow his commands. These, however, are more “long term” types of things. I lose sight of them all too often in the “short term” and choose to sin.

This sin goes against my long term goals, so I do not want to sin in that way. However, I do not consider the long term when the short term temptation is there.

Does that make sense?

The Apostle Paul said the same thing. Does he make no sense as well?

“You have to choose the right thing or the wrong”

Yes, how wonderful it would be if we were all masters and able to always choose the right and not the wrong, or to never be weak and make mistakes.

Even loosing my temper with a person is ‘wrong’, it goes against what is taught. I do not do it because I choose to, I do it because I am weak. I may continue to work toward more patience, more perfect tolerance, but I most certainly was not born with this perfect ability.

Sin is part of the nature of humanity. We all live in the flesh and we all die in the flesh. If we were not human, we would not sin and we would not die. We would live without disease and suffering and illness as was the state of Grace in the Garden before the original sin caused Adam and Eve to be caste to the earth into bodies of flesh where they too would struggle, suffer and die.

Since we are all human and we all die, it is part of human nature. I know many people who are wonderful, who I would never say are ‘sinners’ but that does not mean they are without sin. For even an ill thought is a sin according to Christ.

It is because we are imperfect as humans, with the fall from grace, that is is much more difficult to not give in to our natural imperfection and ‘sin’. This is the reason we required the gift of reconciliation with God that He provided to us in Jesus, to take us back to ‘the garden’ where we no longer suffer and die in our human flesh. Our spirits are joined with God in our faith, when we strengthen them we do so by striving to keep the Word that God sent in Christ, this way provides us redemption, we need not master it, but we need understand it as the way. If we are truly striving, even our weaknesses will not condemn us. And this striving also truly changes us. God knows what is in our hearts, what our intentions are, what our desires are, and how we strive or do not strive to overcome our own will that would lead us astray.

Sure, every action requires a choice on some level. But many emotional ‘reactions’ can happen that we wish we had not had, more of a response like a knee jerk reaction. The goal is to be more empowered over our responses and thus to exercise better choices in our behaviors, but this is the challenge, not the ‘fact’ for most of humanity. We are working toward this, but we are all imperfect in our walk on earth. We tend to use the word ‘sinner’ for obvious ‘evil’ acts in humanity, the ‘other’ over there who steals or kills or does some harmful heinous thing or is self destructive, but none are without sin, even in the most subtle form. This is what we all must remember and know that the word sin is not a word that demands judgment but a word that reminds us all of how much we need Gods love, mercy and grace to rise above our human weaknesses.

In the CCC article 1849 says:

Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as “an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law.”

Ralphinal indicated a difference between a long term goal of eternity with God versus the short term desires that we face regularly. I agree with this view how we may sin by giving into the short term desire but this is opposed to our long term goal. But I believe that even when we sin in the short term we are making an active choice to do so.

Most of us don’t sin because we have a desire to offend God. We sin because we have a desire to give ourselves what we want. We sin out of our human weakness, and our sin in turn offends God. So if someone says “I sin but I don’t want to” I would hope that they mean that they sin but they do not wish to offend God. As the original poster indicated when we sin we know what we’re doing so we must want to sin. And I agree. We may not want to offend God but I believe when we sin we know that our actions will ultimately hurt our relationship with God, but we focus on our own desires and wants.

Paul sates the same exact thing in his letter to the Romans. The very thing he doesn’t want to do he does. No one wants to sin but we do.

Are you saying Kalt that you never sin? I don’t believe that you are. You sin just like the rest of us. Do you want to sin? Probably not just like the rest of us.

Dove-tailing from some of the other answers, Scripture does speak of how sin causes us to become slaves to sin. It is this which is a bridle unto our wills. We are blinded in the moment and do something we shouldn’t do out of fear or indulgence or whatever.

I understand what you were trying to say in the OP though. The person who does commit the sin in a very real sense want to commit it. The cause is the imperfect use of the will.

As Dr. Peter Kreeft says, why do we keep sinning? Because we’re insane. :slight_smile:

We agree 100%.

But to say that you don’t want to sin is not completely honest. In the abstract you don’t want to sin. When it’s a long term goal, when you’re thinking of yourself tomorrow or in years to come, you don’t want to sin. But in the here and now, you do want to sin. When temptation takes over, you sin, even when you know it’s wrong, even when you’re conscious of the sin you’re commiting.

It’s not like you wake up thinking that you’re going to go against your better instincts today. But then you decide to do what you want instead of what God wants.

The goal is very important, though. It keeps you striving to be better.

This is why you need to honestly examine your conscience often and go to Confession. It keeps the goal fresh in your mind. Keeping it fresh in your mind (actively thinking about it rather than having it on the back burner) helps you to sin less than you would otherwise, I think.

All “you’s” are universal.

All “you’s” are universal.


I have found that writing in this way, using the universal ‘you’, as I often do, has been the cause of more people believing I was directing my words to them personally and not the ‘universal’ you. I appreciate this and am learning to use the term “one” in place of “you”.


This is why one needs to honestly examine their conscience often and go to Confession. It keeps the goal fresh in their mind. Keeping it fresh in one’s mind (actively thinking about it rather than having it on the back burner) helps one to sin less than one would otherwise, I think.

Old habits die hard though, just like sinning, sometimes I do this and sometimes I just slip into the previous mode. In time grasshopper, I tell myself, in time. :smiley:

Even Paul said “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” in Romans 7:15. In fact it appears to me that the whole 7th chapter of Romans could be written as part of a dialogue with your post! Check it out!

Paul said that born again (read saved) people don’t want to sin and that sets them apart from Catholics who aren’t “saved”?

Paul said that when we sin it isn’t because we want to do exactly what we want to do at that moment? That people sin against their will?

Of course Christians (and all good people of any faith) don’t go around thinking that it’s a good thing to commit sins. But to say that because you’re “saved” you don’t want to sin, and that you can tell that someone isn’t really saved when they commit a serious sin (a part of the other poster’s view on sin that I probably should have included in the origiinal post), is just so much rubbish.

Christians commit horrible sins. It’s a fact. It’s not proof that they aren’t Christian. It’s proof that they’re doing what they want instead of doing what God wants.

God gave all of us free will. With that free will, we sin of our own volition. Adam did, too, unless you’re going to blame it on Eve or the snake.

But it’s obvious that God, after giving people free will, holds His people responsible for the sins they commit. Adam and Eve got a swift change of address. :wink:

To say I want to “sin” specifically is like saying I want to directly offend God. But that is rarely what happens. It is like being a child, in their Sunday Best if you like, and seeing a lovely hill to roll down. You roll down the hill and just don’t think much about the grass stains it will make. However, now and then you might actually decide to get grass stains on your pants deliberately, perhaps to misdirect your mother’s eye from something else you did. :whistle: I don’t think a kid is wanting to get grass stains on their pants, typically. They just accept the consequences of rolling down a hill, or perhaps they don’t even think about them. What the kid wants to do is roll down the hill.

:thumbsup:Thank you for saying that so much better than I did.

which they know, even at the time, is wrong. The knowing it’s wrong and doing it anyway is what makes an action sinful.

When you do something you know is wrong, you know that it’s an offensive act. It’s not for nothing that we call people who break the law criminal offenders. We all know that sin is an offense to God, and we choose to sin anyway. :slight_smile:

When you do something you know is wrong, you know that it’s an offensive act. It’s not for nothing that we call people who break the law criminal offenders. We all know that sin is an offense to God, and we choose to sin anyway.

Do you not think that human beings are offended by criminal offenders because they feel the harm done by the sinner? I don’t know that God is ‘offended’ by our sins but I know that we are and that because we know how it feels to be on the receiving in, whether we are religious or not, we wish people would not do it.

It is not always ‘choice’ that drives us to sin, sometimes it is our very human nature, the desire to be loved, accepted, protected and honored that drives us to act in ways that show we are really more grounded in fear, lack and self rejection than love. I personally do not believe God is ‘offended’ as much as God holds such great compassion that He has given us the wisdom and Word to show us how to rise above our human weakness, our human fear, because of love for us, because He is aware of our suffering and wishes to remove it from us, not because he is ‘offended’ and wants to punish us. Offense is not an act of perfect love. Perfect love is compassion, it tolerates ‘criminal’ behavior in the sense that it understands what motivated it and seeks to cure that drive and replace it with a wholeness and a peace that would deem it unnecessary.

This is what I get from Jesus Word, but I am told that since I don’t follow Church leaders and people from the past who are ‘more intelligent’ than I, I am wrong and must defer to them.

Hogwash I say.

Scripture says the righteous man sins seven times a day.
Is that to say that a righteous man would intentionally do something that would offend God?
I do not think so. It does however point to the reality that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Each of us has done things in his or her life intentionally or unintentionally that are at odds to the relationship we desire with God and/or one another.
The harm that we cause in a relationship is sin, whether it was our desire to cause harm to the relationship or not.
There are different levels of sin. There is mortal sin that is grievous and involves forethought. There are also times when we act without thinking, causing harm in the process.
Using the analogy of a broken window.
A person may throw a rock at the window and intentionally break it. Another person may be playing baseball and the ball breaks the window. In either case the window was broken. The person playing baseball had no intention of breaking the window although he may have known the possibility it could happen. In both cases, the window is broken.
Sin causes a rift in our relationships with God and one another.The act that cause the rift is the sin regardless of intention.

I agree the child surely knows they are not supposed to do it. I sure did back then, anyway. :o

You are running into the strange use of language I have, that I have a slight tendency to choose the word “sin” when I want to think about wrongdoing under the specific aspect of a/all wrongdoing being an offense against God. For very few wrong acts, though, is my primary thought about it that is is an offense against God. Usually I am lucky to manage to think that something seems wrong before I plunge right in. I rarely manage to grasp in what the wrongness consists or, further, that God is noticing the whole affair. It is only after the fact that it might occur to me that it offended God or might not be consistent with loving him.

I think the upshot of this post is that I need to pray *more *than once a day for perfect contrition. Sigh.

Good morning, “empurpled soul”. (Interesting name!)

There are multiple instances of God indicating that he is offended or wearied or grieved by our sinfulness. Here’s one from the OT & one from the NT:
Ezekiel 6:9 - Then in the nations where they have been carried captive, those who escape will remember me—how I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from me, and by their eyes, which have lusted after their idols
Matthey 17:17 - “O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?” (This verse is also found in Mark 9:19 & Luke 9:41)

So yes, our sin does frustrate God. But his love is far greater than our sin, thanks be to God!

Good Lord, where did you get that?

Of course I’m not saying that. If you read my posts, you will know that I’m saying the exact opposite of that.

We all sin. And we all sin of our own free will. We are 100% responsible for the sins we choose to commit. We want to commit these acts when we commit them, no matter how lofty our better selves (our ideals) are.

At the time we commit these sins, we are doing exactly what we want to do.

Have you ever commited a sin against your will?

IMO, the claim that society forces us to commit a sin is a cop-out. “Society” may claim X, but if you know it’s wrong and choose to participate anyway, you are doing exactly what you want to do.

I’ll use abortion as an example. Society (law) tells us that abortion is OK. Some sub-sets of society will even tell you that abortion is desireable in certain cases. If you choose to partiicpate, though you know it is wrong (or should know (you are not mentally deficient and therefore not held responsible), you are 100% responsible for the act you want to and choose commit.

We had a Catholic woman here who was a spokesperson (or was it director?) for Planned Parenthood. She openly said that people have a right to abortion, and that she was there to help them get one. She was excommunicated from the Catholic Church.

That society (the law in this state) said that she was right, that abortion is legal and moral, is irrelevant. She chose to participate in a sinful act. She wanted to do this, though I’m sure she would also say that she doesn’t want to sin in general.

Too many people here, I think, want to mitgate their own culpability. When you sin, it is because you choose to (want to) do it.

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