Why do we sin?

Sin is "a bad habit" that "just comes naturally," say Leslie and Emily, both age 12. 

Sin is more than a bad habit, and it didn't always come naturally. It's a choice that began in the Garden of Eden. 

"Adam and Eve messed up" so that "we are born with sin in our hearts," say Julianne, 11, and Dominique, 6.

In fact, "Adam and Eve started the sinning generation," according to Drew, 10. Now, things in the world are so messed up, Jeffrey, 11, says, "sometimes, we think it's cool" to sin.

Yes, Adam and Eve started the "sinning generation" but quickly found themselves "out" - out of a perfect place where God provided all their needs.

The result of Adam and Eve's declaration of independence from God is that our hearts "get cold and selfish," says Sarah. "My heart feels like I'm a disgrace to God and unworthy of the glory of God," adds Jamie, 12. This is probably why Adam and Eve hid themselves from God immediately after they ate the forbidden fruit.

Instead of wanting God and depending upon Him for life, we now seek our own way and glory. The Apostle James tells us our will is so distorted that some even blame God for their sin.

"Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death" (James 1:13-15).

Jorge, 8, has probably never heard of comedian Flip Wilson; nevertheless, he agrees with Flip's explanation when he says, "The devil makes us do it." The devil can tempt us as he did with Adam and Eve, but the Apostle James says our temptation comes from being carried away by our own desires.

Satan's cunning strategy of promising Eve that she would be like God could have been inspired by something he observed in her, or he might have remembered his own wish. "The devil always wanted to be equal to God," says Masch, 10, "so finally he left heaven and created his own place."

Instead of listening to and trusting God for wisdom, Eve did what seemed right to her. She gave a hearing to Satan, followed his advice and then convinced Adam to join her.

"We sin because we don't listen," says Michael, 6. Specifically, "We sin because we don't listen to our mom," says Raha, 7. What about Dad, Raha? Shouldn't we listen to him, too?

We get so used to sinning that we forget how bad it is. Sinning against a holy God who desires the best for us is outright rebellion!

Our rebellion and all the pain associated with it were absorbed by the heart of God in the cross of Christ. All of humanity and God collided at the cross. The door shut by our rebellion was opened by Jesus' obedience. Once again, the way to oneness with God is clear. Like Adam and Eve in the garden, we can choose spiritual life or death.

The original sin in the Garden of Eden has made everyone "impure," says Elizabeth, 12, "making God send his only son, Jesus, to die on the cross for us. God truly loves us!" 

Point to ponder: Sin is rebellion against a holy God. Scripture to remember: "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Questions to consider: Have you made peace with God by believing in Jesus Christ as your savior? As a Christian, do you know the joy being filled with God's Spirit instead of your lust and pride?
 

Inspire your children by reading this column with them and visiting the Kids Talk About God website at www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org. Bible quotations are from the New King James Version.


© 2004 CAREY KINSOLVING