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Jehovah’s Witnesses


How Can You Have a Happy Life?


What Is Sin?

What Is Sin?

“There is no man righteous in the earth that keeps doing good and does not sin.”ECCLESIASTES 7:20.

A GOOD person wants to think, feel, and act properly at all times. Sin means failing to achieve that goal perfectly. It is like missing the mark when throwing darts.

Does sin include only serious crime?

Do you ever lose your temper?

Any bad action, feeling, or thought is a sin. That includes such things as uncontrolled anger, cursing at one’s mate or children, nurturing a wrong desire, or giving in to a selfish impulse.

Could anyone go through life without ever sinning?

Can anyone honestly say, for example, that he has never violated the tenth commandment: “You must not desire . . . anything that belongs to your fellowman”? (Exodus 20:17 [20:14, TNK]) Realistically, we know that “there is no man that does not sin.” (1 Kings 8:46) Completely avoiding all sin, even for a day, is beyond our ability.

Do you ever have a bad thought?

How deep-seated is sin?

Our inability to avoid error shows that sin is a deeper problem than simply committing wrong acts. We all inherit sin. We get sick, grow old, and die, not because we choose to do bad deeds, but primarily because we are born imperfect, inclined to error. We cannot rid ourselves of this inclination by our own efforts. “Who can produce someone clean out of someone unclean? There is not one.”Job 14:4.

Adam and Eve were created perfect—not inclined to error. When they chose to sin, they became like a dented cake pan that could produce only a dented cake. Thus, we have no choice in the matter. We all carry a dent like theirs—various imperfections and wrong inclinations. In a word, the sin we inherited from Adam and Eve. But does that really matter?