Against you, you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so you are right in your verdict.
— Psalm 51:4
The Bible tells us much about sin. We are told sin is fun for a season, that sin separates us from God, and sin ultimately leads to death.
Although most Christians have a proper understanding of sin, I believe some common misunderstandings perpetuate the problem. For example, when discussing sin, most people view sin as only a standard of right or wrong rather than wise or unwise. Sin is promoted as something we do that angers God and nothing more.
I believe most Christians and non-Christians misunderstand sin. When discussing sin, we often talk about it like a standard we HAVE to obey, or we’ll be punished!
I think a better view of sin would be this: Sin is when we don’t do what God has commanded, and therefore, we suffer the inevitable consequences.
Growing up, I viewed sin as parameters that God had given to test our love for Him. I thought I was to demonstrate my love for God by avoiding certain activities. It was my understanding that if I loved God, I would avoid sin.
I never once considered the idea that God, my Father, was concerned about me, and in his love, he gave me instructions on things to avoid because there were inherent consequences. For example, I love ice cream, especially late at night, but I have come to realize (post 32 years of age) if I eat ice cream late at night, I will see the effects days later. There is an inherent consequence of eating ice cream — mainly calories and sugar.
Now, I don’t think that ice cream is a sin, but I do think the principle applies. If someone sins, consequences come. The Bible commands believers to be trustworthy and honest, so we carry those as virtues of believers. But here is the kicker, God isn’t telling us to be honest for His benefit but for ours. When you are dishonest and not trustworthy, people stop trusting you, and you lose all credibility. No father wants his child to lose credibility and friends. So God said, “Do not lie.”
When David says in verse 4, “you are right in your verdict,” David admits that God’s way is the best. God’s commands are not arbitrary, and they’re not mean. They are wisdom from a loving Father! Remember that next time you want to steal some ice cream!