How can I know when something is a sin?

Here's the answer:

God’s Word can tell us a lot about what is sin.

Have you ever wondered if God sat down with a pen and paper to make a list of what is right and what is sin? The Bible doesn’t include a detailed list like that, but it does give us some advice on what God says is sin.

God is perfect and is always right. Sin is anything that goes against God and the way He wants us to behave. We can know what is sin by knowing God. For example, since God is love, we know He wants us to be loving too. When we are unloving, it is sin.

God tells us what is sin because He loves us. He wants to protect us and guide us. Do you have a younger sister? If so, you probably want to protect her. You hold her hand when crossing the street and you tell her not to touch the oven when it’s hot. Why do you do these things? You want to protect her, don’t you? That’s how God is with you. He wants to protect you, so He tells you what is sin and what isn’t.

Here are a few other ways God tell us when something is a sin:

• If the Bible says something is sin, it is sin. For example, the Bible says that lying is a sin (Proverbs 6:17), so we know for sure it is a sin.

• Does this action hurt me or anyone else? If so, it is probably sin.

• Sometimes you might not be sure whether something is good or bad and the Bible doesn’t say. It’s wise to ask, “Is this good” instead of "Is this bad?" The Bible says, "So suppose someone knows the good deeds they should do. But suppose they don’t do them. By not doing these good deeds, they sin" (James 4:17).

If you still don’t know if something is a sin or not, ask an adult you trust. You can also talk to God and ask Him to guide you.

Bible Truth

"God made us. He created us to belong to Christ Jesus. Now we can do good things. Long ago God prepared them for us to do" (Ephesians 2:10).

"You say, 'Everything is permitted.' But not everything is good for us. ... We should not look out for our own interests. Instead, we should look out for the interests of others" (1 Corinthians 10:23-24).