Wake Me Up Before You Jo-Ho
asked "no one is a
sinner by birth" - is that true? What about Psalm 51:5?
have read in various scriptures that we are sinners from birth and heard
scriptural characters saying: “The good I wish to do I do not do, but the bad I
do not wish to do is what I do. What a wretched person I am!” or “This is the
way God has made me” …etc. Reading such things people feel that sin is an
inherited tendency—something normal!
would not agree because I find an avalanche of proofs against this. We find variety
of people acting/reacting differently in same situation: Some do more righteous
acts, some do more sinful acts, and others mix them in varying degrees, one-time sinners changing
into saints, one-time saints changing into sinners, some very poor people who
refuse to steal, and some very wealthy people who steal in various ways… etc. This
shows people choose to act the way they like which means they are not sinners
from birth—resulting in all sorts of people from sinless to the sinful
even Bible makes many references to some sinless persons who lived in the
ancient times (Genesis 5:24; Job 1:8; Psalm 18:23; Ezekiel 14:14; Luke 1:6
…etc.) and human capacity to perform righteousness. (Habakkuk 2:4; Hebrews
If we are not sinners
from birth, when does sin arise?
Our experience shows that beliefs and attitudes are linked. For
example, if one truly believes in the principle “one reaps what he sows”, he
would not display a casual attitude towards life, but he would think before
acting and be alert to do good to others and to avoid doing harm to others as
far as possible. That means from beliefs, attitudes are formed; and from
attitudes, thoughts are formed; from thoughts, action is produced; from
repeated action, tendency and habit
are produced which in turn determine one’s destiny. For example, a person
steals for first time and he was not caught; then he goes on repeating it and a
tendency to steal comes into existence. Similarly, a person chooses to give joy
to others and stop giving sorrow to others, and he reaps accordingly which in
turn makes him repeat the same and a tendency to do good comes into existence.
Thus tendency to commit
sin/virtue begins from repeated action, not from birth. That means performance
of an action and its repetition is result of choice people make. Bible
describes king David who unwisely used this faculty of choice. From his palace
when he looked down he saw his neighbor, a very beautiful woman, taking bath.
Now he had two choices—either to immediately withdraw his eyes and mind and
carry on with his duties as king or “to keep on looking at” that scene.
Unfortunately, he chose the latter which kindled lust in him, and finally committed
adultery with her and took her as his wife after deceitfully killing her
husband even though he had many wives at that time. (2 Samuel, chapter 11) If
he had simply withdrawn his eyes and mind as many have done, no sin would have
been committed. (James 1:15)
If doing vice/virtue is
out of choice, then it would mean no one is a sinner from birth, hence we
cannot call anyone sinner. A person may sometimes get swelling on his leg
and may have limped a few times—but he is never called lame. Similarly, a
person may at times slip into selfishness and use his free-will to his own harm
or to the harm of others—but this does not make him a sinner because the ability
to perform virtuous acts also exists in him. If one’s occasional sinning does
not make him a sinner, sin of another person such as his parents (immediate or
distant) can also never make him a sinner.