The sources of sin


If sins come from only three sources; the Devil, the flesh, and the world, how do we know which source the temptation is coming from? For example, the flesh or the devil? How do we know where it eminates from?


A strange question to be sure…Sin is the result of a conscious decision to act in a manner one knows to be wrong and/or contrary to Church teaching. It requires knowledge of the wrongfulness of the act and the intentional exercise of free will. The sources of temptation to sin may be the devil, the flesh or worldly attractions, but in order to sin, an individual must be an active participant in the process. Beyond that claification, I’m not sure I understand the purpose of your question.


I would not necessarily spend much time on figuring where temptation to sin emanates from, unless it is a pattern of temptation in need of uncovering. Rather, in agreement with Island Oak, better to dwell on where the choice to sin emanates from–you, and the need to confess, develop and exercise resistance and wisdom to break with sinfulness or occassions of sin.


the illustration of temptation coming from the world, the flesh and the devil is the Gospel we just heard, the temptation of Christ after his fast in the desert. First he was tempted through the senses to feed his physical hunger for food, then from the world in being tempted by power over the world’s governments and peoples, then by the devil to do what the devil does best, defy and tempt God, by casting himself down on the stones and “daring” God to save him.


It is a question of curiosity, and like every other question I’m sure there was an answer for this one too. When you want to know something you have to ask right? Thank you anyway for responding though. God Bless you!:slight_smile:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit