The world will be completely transformed if we embrace Biblical Principles concerning Love, Dating, Marriage and Sex

For every copy of our book that is being sold on Amazon.com, 1US$ will be donated to Compassion International to help sponsoring a child in need

Sins and Mistakes

Blog -> Bible

Over the last few months I had multiple discussions on the topic of "Sin and mistakes". It all started when I was giving an Alpha Talk on the topic of "Why did Jesus die?" Obviously, to answer that question we need to establish the point that "we are all sinners". So in that talk I used the term "mistakes" once or twice referring to sin. Afterwards someone came to me, correcting me: "You shouldn't use the term ''mistake' when referring to sin." I didn't get it. So he explained: "Because mistakes aren't sin!"

Initially I didn't agree. So we discussed, explained to each other what we meant (Many arguments simply happen because we mean different things using the same term). So basically what it came down to was this:

  • My friend believes that if you do something that has a bad outcome, but you couldn't really predict that something bad would happen, then it's a mistake. For example, you simply reach for a water on the table and for some reason you just knock over the jar and spill the water, then you didn't sin. If you do it intentionally, then it's sin. But if you simply couldn't know what was going to happen, then it's just a mistake.
  • I argued that anytime something bad happens, someone must have sinned.

So we ended our discussion that night, agreeing that we disagreed. Now to be fair: we did agree that we can sin unintentionally. The Old Testament Law is clear on that. 

Leviticus 4:2-3 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall act against any one of them: If the priest that is anointed sins according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he has sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering. 

So yes, we agreed, it's possible to sin unintentionally. The remaining question and disagreement was: "Is it possible that something bad happens, and it's nobody's sin?" Like the spilled water, or a kid who gets hurt playing, etc.

This question bugged me. Because I couldn't really find any Biblical evidence one way or the other. And I realized that the answer has implications. For example:

  • In the Garden of Eden, before the Fall, was it possible that Adam and Eve got a bit too excited playing with each other, and they accidentaly stepped on an animal and that animal died?
  • Did Jesus (who never sinned) ever run down a hill in excitement, fall and hurt himself? Did he ever play with a stone and it fell on his foot or the foot of a friend he played with?
  • Did Jesus ever attempt to help his father in the carpenter shop, and mess up a table, because He tried to do something that He was too young to do?

These kinds of questions ran through my head. If we could make mistakes without sinning, then the answer to all these questions is "yes". If mistakes are sin, then the answer is "no".

I was still convicted that mistakes are sin. But I couldn't really find any Biblical evidence. 

However, after doing some more research over the last few months, I can say that still stand by my point. I believe that mistakes are sin. For multiple reasons. 

Jonathan eating honey

Let me start with my final finding first. After thinking through all the other bullet points that I'll mention later, I read the story of Jonathan eating honey. That's what I believe is a clear situation of someone making a mistake, and the Bible calls it sin.

Let's look at it more closely. Israel is in battle. Saul is their king, their leader. And he gives everybody this command:

1 Samuel 14:24 And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had lain an oath on the people, saying, Cursed be the man that eats any food until evening, that I may be avenged on my enemies. So none of the people tasted any food. 

Saul gives a clear command. The only problem was: His son Jonathan did NOT hear about this oath. Since he didn't know about it, he didn't obey.

1 Samuel 14:26-27 And when the people were come into the forest, behold, the honey dripped; but no man put his hand to his mouth: for the people feared the oath. But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath: therefore he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in a honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were brightened. 

A clear mistake, right? It's not wrong eating honey. And Jonathan didn't know what his father had commanded. He couldn't have known. That's not sin, he didn't do anything wrong. He just made a mistake!

Well, let's read on.A few verses later, Saul is consulting God:

1 Samuel 14:37-38 And Saul asked counsel of God, Shall I go down after the Philistines? will you deliver them into the hand of Israel? But he answered him not that day. And Saul said, Draw you near here, all you leaders of the people: and know and see what this sin has been this day. 

Oh. Saul was seeking God, but couldn't hear from Him. Why? Well, Saul knew that there is only one possible reason why God doesn't speak. Someone in the camp must have sinned! So they cast the lot, God identifies Jonathan as the sinner.

Clearly, Jonathan's actions would fall under what many people nowadays would call "mistake, but not sin". He ate, which is not wrong. He didn't know about his father's oath, he couldn't have known about it. But the Bible still calls it sin. 

To me personally, this is the clearest revelation I have found so far that "making a mistake" is still sin in God's eyes.


Nevertheless, here are a few more reasons why I personally am convited that mistakes are sin.

God gives warnings

When I meditated on this whole topic, I asked myself: "What happend when I made mistakes! Was there any way to hold myself responsible for the mistakes I made?" And after meditating on this for a while, I had to admit: "Yes, there was!" I thought of several situations when I did what other people would call a mistake. And practically every time I had to admit: The Holy Spirit told me beforehand that I shouldn't do this! I had this weird feeling inside of me that I shouldn't pursue this. I did it anyways. And now I understand why I shouldn't have done it.

This revelation got even greater when I looked at how I relate to my children. Sometimes they don't know that they are running towards danger. But I know. What do I do in those kinds of situations? Well, basically I do one of three things:

1) Sometimes I warn them. Sometimes I tell them "You really shouldn't do this, because it's dangerous." And I hope they listen.

2) Sometimes, if I have already told them before, I have to let them feel the consequences. Sometimes I need to say: "You shold know better, I've told you many times before. If you don't listen any other way, then feel the pain of touching the hot pan. Hope you learn your lesson!"

But the key here is this: I only do that if I've warned them before, and if I know that they know. If they don't know about the danger they're getting themselves into, I warn them first. Or I do the third possibility.

3) Sometimes I simply need to take them away from the situation. Sometimes they're too immature, they can't know, they can't handle things, the temptation is too great,... Whatever it is. Sometimes I simply need to take them away from the situation and force my way on them.

What I am trying to communicate is this: Yes, sometimes I allow my kids to make a wrong choice. But ONLY if I know that I warned them before. I never allow them to face a danger or a bad outcome that they couldn't know of. 

Now of course, I do this imperfectly, I'm human, and my fathering skills are far from perfect. But this is what I am aiming for. Protect them from danger and warn them. Only sometimes when I know that they know that they are disobeying me, THEN I allow them to go ahead. And face the consequences.

Now if as earthly parents we aim for that, how much more can we be certain that God is doing exactly that? I am absolutely convicted that God will never allow us to face bad stuff without giving us warnings. Without telling us; "Don't go there. Something bad is going to happen if you continue this way!"

Now of course, that doesn't save us from other people's sin. Jesus was in perfect obedience to the Father, and He still got accussed, insulted, and ultimately killed on a cross. So I'm not saying that "every time something bad happens to us, we did something wrong". But I am saying that I firmly believe that God gives us warnings before we make mistakes. I firmly believe that the Spirit will tell us: "Don't go down that street", "Don't eat this food" or "Don't buy this product here". From my experience, I can say: Whenever I made a mistake, I can nearly always look back in time and say: "You know, one week earlier I had the feeling God was telling me not to do that. I did it anways. Now I understand that I disobeyed God!"

So what I'm trying to say is: When we make mistakes, I believe we have been disobedient to God somewhere in the process before. Somewhere earlier God was telling us: "Don't do that!" We chose to either not listen, to ignore what He said or to flat out disobey. That was sin! And as a result of our disobedience, the mistake becomes evident some time later.

Death entered the world through sin

A few more smaller reasons why I believe mistakes are sin. One is that the Bible clearly states that death entered the world through sin. Mistakes can lead to death (e.g. Someone makes a mistake, stumble on the sidewalk, falls on the street and a car hits the person to death). So if we believe that there was no death before the original sin, but Adam and Eve made mistakes, and mistakes can lead to death, then ... we have a contradiction here. 

If Jesus was capable of making mistakes, God's salvation plan was subject to luck

Think about it: If Jesus was able to make mistakes, he could have eaten a poisonous mushrom. He might have tried to help his mom to light the fire for her to cook, make a mistake, set the house on fire, and die in the house. He might have played happily outside, unknowingly enter a dangerous area, and be attacked by a wild animal. Jesus could have hurt or even killed himself as a child, which would have prevented Him from fulfilling His destiny, His death and resurrection. 

God's master plan of salvation being dependent on luck? That doesn't sound right to me

I do not believe that pain was part of God's original design

I do not believe that pain was part of God's original design. Pain is a result of sin. So anytime someone feels pain, someone sinned. Could be the person him-/herself (e.g. accdientally dropping a bottle of water on his/her foot), could be someone else's sin (e.g. a person who pushes us and causes us to fall), could be something that society does (e.g. bad food quality that leads to bad health). But the point is: When someone feels pain, someone sinned. 

God is perfect

God says that He is perfect. And He is the standard. How can we say that we fall short of His perfection, but it's not sin?

If mistakes are not sin, then what about heaven?

We know that the difference in heaven will be that there will be no more sin. We also know that there will be no more tears, no more hurts, etc. Everything will be perfect.

If we believe that everything will be perfect, then there won't be mistakes any more either. Because mistakes can cause pain. So if everything imperfect will be removed in heaven, and mistakes will be removed as well, then how come we think that mistakes in this world are not sin? Mistakes are imperfect, imperfection is sin.

Why do I need to apologize if I didn't do anything wrong?

We all know that if I hurt someone, I need to apologize. Even if it wasn't my intention. If I go to someone's home, and I accidentally break a drinking cup they gave me, then I need to apologize. I need to say "I'm sorry!" I should also offer to restore what I broke.

If I made a mistake, if I didn't do anything wrong, then why do I have to apologize? How come we need to apologize if we haven't sinned? Why would I need to apologize to a person when I don't need to say sorry to God? Does my friend whose cup I broke hold me to a higher standard than God does? So is God's standard of holiness and perfection not enough? 


Now I realize: I'm in the great minority here. Most people I talk to about this topic do not agree with me. They say it's possible to do something unwise, but that's not necessarily sin. Or they say that "If you simply could not know about the bad outcome, then you made a mistake." I respect their opinions, and I'm certainly not claiming that I know it all. But just to say: These are the reasons why I personally came to the conclusion that mistakes are sin. 

If you have any thoughts on this, pleas feel free to write in the comment section below. Would love to hear if you agree or disagree, or if you have any thoughts on this topic.

Share & Comment

Related Blogs

Category: Blog -> BibleKeeping Vision Alive

Exodus 3:11 And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? 

We're currently enjoying our summer break, so I'm thankful that I can spend some extra time with the kids, playing, swimming,... And of course, also some extra time reading Bible together.

As much as we think that "we are reading the Kids Bible for the kids" I'm amazed how much God actually speaks to us as we try to teach the Bible in a kids-friendly way. That's exactly what happened yesterday as we read the story of Moses again.

God obviously had a HUGE plan for Moses. He was to be the one that God would use to lead His people out of Egypt, bringing them into the promised land. God's plan was already pre-written. He knew the importance of Moses' leadership years later. I have a feeling that the devil knew that too. I don't have any bibilical evidence for thi...

2015-08-16 05:14:55
Category: Others -> SocietyFacing the challenge of Smartphones

My family and I moved house earlier this week. So everything is new right now, we observe everything. Where's the nearest supermarket? What's the best way to get to the office? What is the neighborhood like? Those of you who have moved with kids you know how you look at everything very differently for a while, until a certain routine sets back in.

So while being in this "observing everything" mode, I also noticed something again that I kind of got used to by now: It's how busy people keep themselves with their Mobile Devises. Everybody keeps him-/herself busy all the time. People watch movies. They text and read unimportant blogs from people they have no relationship with and no interest in knowing what's going on in their lives. But they still read it. They read articles about topics that they have absolutely no interest in, simply because someone sends them the link. 

This morning in the metro I was standing next to a woman w...

2015-07-29 04:48:09
Category: Blog -> BibleThe Standard and Forgivess of God

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

In my last blog (http://simplesecrets.info/blog.php?blogid=57) I shared with you why I personally think that mistakes are sin. Thanks to everyone who shared their opinions, whether you agreed with me or not. I liked all your responses, especially when you disagreed with me in a very respectful way. How different the world would be if we could all disagree with such love and respect for one another.

Now after finishing the last blog, I did realize that I could be misunderstood. Those of you who don’t know me and simply read that particular blog could think I’m a nasty, legalistic, condemning and unpleasant Christian whose mission is simply to make everybody around me miserable. So while I stand to what I wrote, and still believe it (I believe mistakes are sin!) I also want to...

2015-07-24 05:49:34
Category: Blog -> BibleThe Heart of the Father, Part 7

Luke 15:31-32 And he said unto him, Son, you are ever with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry, and be glad: for this your brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found. 

Over the last few blogs we have been addressing the younger brother. The one who feels that he is missing out on life by staying in the Father's house. So he decides to leave and comes to the end of himself. But when he decides to return, he is immediately embraced and fully restored by the Father.

Most people mainly look at the younger brother in this story. We even call the parable that of the Prodigal Son. I think we make a mistake doing this. Because really what these parables are really about is the Father's heart, not so much about what kind of weird stuff the people do. So really, we should focus on the Father, His love, His compassion, His forgiveness, His restoration,... And not so m...

2015-07-08 14:54:46
Category: Blog -> BibleThe Church and Same-Sex-Marriage

My thoughts on Same-Sex-Marriages

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court gave same-sex couples the "fundamental right to marry" the discussions on this topic have gone viral everywhere. Many reports have been written from all kinds of angles. Many people have changed their picture on Facebook to rainbow colors, expressing their support for same-sex marriages.

Now for me, I am obviously a follower of Jesus. So I don't need to explain how I stand on this topic. But for those who might not be aware of what the majority of Christian churches believe, here it is: 

  • No, I don't support this law. And no, I don't think it's right.
  • I believe God created us as men and women. Period! And no, I don't believe that anybody is born gay. We choose that lifestyle, we're not created with such desires.
  • And yes, I believe romantic same-sex-relationships are sin!

So that's my be...

2015-07-01 16:10:20
Category: Blog -> Bible The Heart of the Father, Part 6

Luke 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 

Last time we looked at the younger son's Far Country Experience. And we left off when the son decided to return to his Father. He finally came to his senses and realized that "being a servant in the Father's house is infinately greater than anything outside the Father's house". So the son comes to his senses (v. 17) he decides to return to the Father. But he is willing to take a low place. He is willing to say: "Father, I don't deserve your to be called your son any longer. But please, at least, allow me to live here and serve you. I'll earn my way back into your house."

That's the mindset of the son as he returns. However, he is in for a surprise. 

Luke 15:20 And he arose, and came ...

2015-07-01 15:34:27
Back to complete Blog List

Subscribe to our Newsletter

If you would like to be notified by email when new blogs or updates are being posted, then please enter your email address here:

Email Address