A Secular View of Sin
“Men are not punished for their sins, but by them.”
You don’t have to have a religious background to understand “sin.” You may not define it as disobeying God, but that doesn’t mean you don’t believe in it. In fact, it’s probably the most universal of all beliefs, even for atheists.
This is because while God is invisible, sin is verifiably easy to see:
- Child abuse
- Human trafficking for sex workers
- Watching videos on your phone in public, with the sound up, without headphones
These and so many other obvious actions are simply violations of the way it’s supposed to be. And they’re easy to name and spot. What may not be so easy is to spot the “sins” in your life. Not the horrible, illegal actions you probably don’t commit—I’m talking about the smaller actions we all take that take us away from the present, away from the moment, and away from the things in life we want most:
- Yelling at your kids to hurry up
- Holding on to that grudge against your spouse
- Checking your phone for any distraction away from the present discomfort, which may be trying to teach you something
These sins are far less obvious, but that doesn’t mean they don’t punish us.
Peace begins with pause,