None of us want to lead a sinful life. But sin can quietly grab hold of us if we’re not diligent. Of course, if we want to gain virtue and root out vice in our own lives, we first need a firm understanding of sin.
Check out this exclusive sneak peek of our new series Overcoming Deadly Sin to learn what sin is and how to beat it.
Put simply, sin is any action that is morally evil. And what does “evil” mean?
We may think only of extremely bad things when we hear the word “evil,” such as murder. But evil has a broader definition. St. Thomas Aquinas defines evil as something which lacks goodness or perfection (De Malo, Question II). Evil is not an entity in itself—says Aquinas—but rather a perversion or an incomplete version of something good.
Now, sin is an action which is a moral evil. It’s an action wherein we choose to not cooperate with God’s will, which is Good. Our sin is a result of us choosing something other than His will, something which we perceive (incorrectly) to be good.
As anyone can see, sins have varying levels of gravity. Betraying a friend or coworker is far more serious than cutting someone off in traffic. At the same time, we human beings have a tendency to make light of smaller sins—failing to remember that ALL sin is a slap in the face of God.
Another reality of smaller sins is the fact that. . .they lead to larger sins if we don’t nip them in the bud. Cursing in traffic or sharing a small bit of gossip can lead us—slowly but surely—into rage and envy.
And finally, sin makes us miserable. That’s not what we want—and certainly not what God wants for us! He wants us to have joy and peace.
So how do we actually do it? How do we open our minds and souls to God’s peace, and resist smaller sins before they morph into something serious?
We’ll show you how in our series Overcoming Deadly Sin. Full of practical steps and self-examinations, we’ll help you identify the sin in your life (large or small!) and show you how to root it out so you can live a more peaceful, happy, virtuous life in Christ.