Don’t Mistake Sin

“For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:21-31

What is sin?  It is to fall short of the glory of God. It is to miss the mark of our ideal humanity. It is to be distant from God. Jesus, as the ideal human, might be defined as one who never doubted the full presence of his Father. What made him so special was how close he stayed to the one he called “Abba.”

Often we mistake sin for its disguises in right and wrong behavior. Smoking, drinking, and eating too much come to mind. Abuse of our body becomes more important to us than abuse of our souls. Glory, as well as health, is our destination as a human. When we miss the mark of our best humanity, we sin. Smoking, drinking, and temple-disregard are surely sins but they are the outer sign of inner conditions. Glorious souls rarely abuse the temple in which they are housed.

We are in good company!  Apparently all of us are in this boat together, this place of minimal glory and maximal distance from our mark as God’s creatures. What might be different?  We might learn to live in the deep water instead of the shallow. We might try to get closer to God by the practice of prayer or by raising our hands in worship to touch the Spirit of the room. We might work less on the outside and more on the inside. We might become inner actives.


O God, You who are the source of any glory we might ever have, draw near. Help us know what it is you meant us to be. 

ddauthordonnaschaper.jpgAbout the Author
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Her most recent book is I Heart Frances: Letters to the Pope from an Unlikely Admirer.