I’ve been thinking a lot lately about sin and eternity and all that interesting juice so I just thought I’d share some of my thoughts with you all.
We all know that sin is bad, but have you ever though about just how bad it is? Probably not. I’m not bringing this up just to show how bad of a person you are, because I’m a sinner too (of course), but maybe if we keep this in mind, we will probably have an even stronger will to avoid sin, a stronger desire to repent, and a truly contrite heart.
First of all, let’s take a look at what sin is.
What is a sin in the first place?
A sin is a word, deed, or intention by which man deliberately and voluntarily offends against the true order of things, as God’s loving providence has arranged them.
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.”
Sin is an offense against God: “Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight.” Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it. Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become “like gods,” knowing and determining good and evil. Sin is thus “love of oneself even to contempt of God.” In this proud self-exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus, which achieves our salvation.
CCC 1849 – 1850
To put that all in perspective, we have to look at how big God is, and how small we are in comparison to Him.
Let’s start with God. How big, how great, how amazing, how powerful is God? Simply, He is beyond our comprehension. When that last sentence is simply stated, it doesn’t feel like much. But when you keep thinking, it is a lot.
He is bigger than West Edmonton Mall, the largest mall in North America, which has over 800 stores and services, and can accommodate more than 20,000 vehicles. He’s bigger than the Dubai Mall (largest mall in the world), bigger than Mt. Everest, bigger than this planet, bigger than Jupiter, bigger than the Sun (which can fit like a million Earths, by the way, just if you needed to know how big that is), bigger than the biggest galaxy, the universe…
Let’s just say, bigger than everything that’s ever existed or will exist.
Now, we are human beings. We are creatures. We have limits. We are extremely tiny compared to God. We are extremely limited compared to God. Compared to God, we are nothing. And yet — He loves us with a love so great we cannot even understand it. But many times we fall and we do not repay this love. We turn our backs on Him who loves us, on Him who cares for us, on Him who keeps us in existence. We are literally utterly dependent on Him.
When we sin, it is as if we yell in God’s face, “I know better than You. I don’t care what You say. I am going to do what I want.” It hurts Him, and not only Him but us too. Think about that. Then think about what we are, what God is, what we are compared to God.
…And all of a sudden sin sounds ten times worse than it used to.
But God is all good and He brings good out of evil, so that no evil is truly purely evil, and evil alone. Our sins are our claim on God as our Redeemer. If no one ever sinned, you’ve got to admit, the story would be less interesting than it already is. Jesus would have no reason to come down to Earth to become one of us. There would be no such thing as Catholicism, the list goes on.
I’m not saying be thankful for sins, but all I’m saying is don’t despair just because you sin. God allows us to sin so that we can become more humble or build a virtue because of it. When you do sin, always remember that God is always waiting for you to come back to Him. Make use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Our Lord is there, waiting. He is always ready to forgive you, you just have to ask.
Miller, Michael J. Youcat English: Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church. San Francisco, Calif.: Ignatius, 2011. Print.