Action and Inaction

OK, here’s the starter post. Since this wasn’t originally my question, I’ll just play host and yield to David if he wants to reframe what I put here.

I think the question (although specific in the original to birth control) was beginning to broaden out to encompass all actions, so I’ll try to phrase this a couple of different ways as I understand it.

How shall we define action in relation to sin? Are sins only actions, or may motives also be sins? This references a deeper question: what is sin exatly? Given any particular action/motive, how do we figure out if it’s sin or not? Are there grey things? How do we figure those out?

All right. Game’s in play.

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3 responses to “Action and Inaction

  1. Motives can definitely be sins. Consider David’s motive to kill Uriah. Although he had not committed the act, he was contemplating how, when, and where to do it. His motive…to cover up his own sin. That, in itself, is a sin (at least in my opinion for what it’s not worth).

  2. Isn’t sin any action, thought, motive, or desire that is contrary to God’s law, will, and desires for us?

  3. That sounds awfully orthodox to me, except that I would be careful to draw the line between motive and temptation. Does that make sense? It’s no sin to be tempted, it’s rather what you do with that temptation that puts in the realm of sin or keeps you out of it.

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