The word “sin” in the New Testament is related to archery and means “missing the mark.” I find this understanding of sin helpful because it brings clarity to sin’s nature. You can miss by a little or you can miss by a lot, but a miss is a miss, and so a sin is a sin.
The problem we face today, though, is we no longer agree on what is the target! For example, some people believe pleasure is the target. For them anything that hinders pleasure is sin even if they don’t use that word. For others the target is freedom and for them anything that limits their or anyone else’s freedom is sin.
For us as Christians, though, the target is God, for we are made in His image. God calls us to be holy as He is holy. That is our target and when because of Jesus we aim for God, we hit the mark. And when we hit the mark, we get pleasure, too, for Jesus came to give us abundant life (John 10:10). Similarly, we get freedom because it is for freedom He set us free (Galatians 5:1). As C.S. Lewis said, “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.”
So, friends, let’s aim for God.