If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
We often misuse this word: sin. We cheapen it, like many things, to a list of “wrong” behaviors, when really, it’s more of a condition or disease. Even when we talk like it’s more than a list of do’s and dont’s… do we really ACT like it is?
“Sin,” and the words we translate that from in the Bible, paint the picture of missing the mark. Like an arrow shot at a target, or either misses that bullseye or misses the target altogether. So, it means we miss the mark of being fully human.
Now I know what you’re thinking: humans are bad, right? Because we’re sinful? No. Human beings were created in the garden long before the serpent, in the image of God, and He said Himself that His human creation “is good.” Being fully human is GOOD.
When we live in the lie that it is not, this is more accurately “living in sin” than, say, two people living under one roof who are not married, just to give an example.
So when I read this passage from John, with this knowledge, my heart towards it has shifted. Where this once may have evoked the idea that I am a vile, wicked, “sinful” being, and if I don’t believe that, Jesus/the Spirit (the big T, Truth) must not be in me, this has softened and I am reminded of God’s loving vision for His children instead.
This scripture means, to me, there is a lie in this world that has infected our humanness and convinced us it was ever about our behaviors in the first place. We don’t obey our way into God’s love; His love is already a present and active truth whether we’re locked on target or otherwise. And because that is, we have the divine opportunity to live in the truth now, even while we move through refining our aim and discovering what it means to be fully human.
Which, honestly? IS loved. First and foremost. God created beings He could pour out His love on. Think about it: angels already praised Him, so we weren’t created to be just more worshippers. He wanted, like so many of us, children. To love. To care for. To raise.
To rid ourselves of sin, we must stop trying to fix behaviors and force obedience. We must live in the image of Love, and if we strive toward anything, let it me toward living that holy, set apart, fully human, image of God kind of life that knows it’s primary purpose is to be loved, and reflect that love back outward.