Is This A Sin

Why Asking “Is This A Sin?” Isn’t Good For You

Something I come across a lot in my discussions with people is a preoccupation with figuring out what’s a sin.

I get it in counselling sessions with people.

When hanging out with friends.

When doing Q&A sessions after preaching.

In emails from strangers on the Internet.

People seem obsessed with figuring out what is a sin or not.

It’s kind of funny though.

It kind of reminds me of the young Christian couple asking “where’s the line?”

What are they really asking?

“How much can we get away with before we get married?”

But I’ve personally never met a couple asking “where’s the line?” that didn’t cross the line they set for themselves eventually.


Because it’s the wrong question.

Just like asking “is this a sin?” is the wrong question to be asking yourself.

You see, when you try to figure out what is a sin or not you are focused on the wrong thing.


You will never live a more righteous lifestyle by asking “is this a sin?”

The NT authors tell us consistently that the key to living a holy righteous life is to focus on Christ.

They tell us that it’s as we gaze upon him we are transformed.

Next time you feel like asking “is that a sin?” Instead just ask… “What does Jesus look like?”

When we focus on who Jesus is and allow ourselves to walk in Him, to have Him live in and through us, we don’t need to worry about what is a sin or not.

Trust me Jesus isn’t planning on sinning – The fruit of the Spirit isn’t sinful!

Focus on Christ – in situations where you aren’t sure what to do ask “what does Jesus look like?”

Because in asking that question you are holding up a mirror and saying “who am I really?”

When we know who we are in Christ we don’t have to live based on what’s right and wrong but instead can trust Him to work in and through us.

Let’s stop focusing on sin and instead focus on the solution to sin.

Jesus didn’t come so we could live by principles, He came so we could live aware of His ever dwelling presence in us.

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  1. So true. If we are insistent upon being ‘regulated’ by outside rules instead of the indwelling Spirit, we have a kinked view of righteousness and God’s grace. A question such as “where is the line?” is an indication of trying to apply some kind of loophole to our responsibility to hearken to the voice of the “Living Word”. For that is the ONLY means of the assurance that we are on the right path and able to SEE clearly enough to not step out of line. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”
    I live on a ‘grace street’ , one that has NO stop signs at either exit. It doesn’t mean we blindly zoom through those intersections without checking to see if the way is safe before proceeding – even if we aren’t legally required to stop by the presence of a stop sign, we are expected to use wisdom and be alert to the need to stop if the situation calls for it. No one could give out a citation to anyone simply for not stopping – because there is NO law in place that demands it. Yet, we could reap the consequence of causing an accident and or injury if we ignored our responsibility to respect the presence of another driver traveling by on the intersecting street.

  2. Amen! God never intended us to know the difference between right and wrong. It’s what got us into trouble in the first place. Jesus’ sacrifice restored the connection between God and us so that we can once again live through His presence in our lives.

  3. I’m a middle aged adult, but I found myself actually spitting my gum out the window of my car, and after it had already hit the pavement outside I felt that conviction that I had crossed the line, I had done something which did not represent Jesus; after all a Jogger could step on it! However, I kept driving to work and forgot about it. On the way home as I pulled onto the road I had spit the gum out earlier, 8 hours later, I hear a noise from my car like something was dragging. I stopped to see what it was, and I discovered a piece of plastic had come loose. By God’s intervention, I had stopped exactly where the gum was and the car plastic was stuck to the gum!!! I am quite sure there is no written commandment “do not spit your gum out the window”, but it is by a connection to God that we are led into all His righteousness. This occurrence has re-introduced me to my Loving and correcting Father.

  4. I get what you’re saying, but there’s also this implication that if we were REALLY saved, we would always know what the Christ-like thing to do is. That’s fine for mature, strong believers who live Godly lives, but new believers need more help than that. I say that as a new-ish believer and someone with unbelieving loved ones. We’re saved through Jesus’ sacrifice alone, but we’re still expected to conduct ourselves in certain ways (all Paul said, for example), but he couldn’t have anticipated all the issues unique to our day and age. People do need answers for these kinds of things, unless it’s simply to cut off from the secular world entirely, which is impossible unless you’re quite isolated. As you can tell I’m taking this one day at a time and will always have a lot to learn. Thank you.

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