Is it a sin?  Ever ask that question?  Maybe you have asked that about divorce, alcohol, white lies, not tithing, not attending Church or a Small Group etc.  Maybe looking around the workplace you find yourself asking that question a great deal.  Me too. I have since I was little.  When I was in elementary school, I was originally taught about sin and it was a little confusing.  My young mind didn’t know how to figure out all these gray areas.  So, I did as every good boy did and I went to my dad and asked, “Daddy, how do I know if something is a sin?” 

I knew some things were bad like stealing and murdering, but what about things that are not so black and white?  My Father in his great wisdom said, “Son, if you wouldn’t do something if I was standing right next to you, don’t do it.”  Sure, that statement has its limitations, but to be honest, it set the course for much of my adolescence in a powerfully effective and positive way.  In countless scenarios, I remember asking myself the question, if Dad was here, what would I do? 


As a child, “Is it a sin?” was a good question that helped me in many areas of my life growing up.  But as I grew in my faith and understanding of scripture, I realized asking “Is it a sin?” is a good question but not the best question. 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. - Hebrews 12:1


In the reading of passages like this in Hebrews, I realized that we should absolutely avoid sin, but it doesn’t end there.  It says to “throw off everything that hinders… let us RUN.”  You see that now?  Get rid of everything that hinders us from running, not just sin.  I learned that I should not be only asking if something is a sin but rather, “Does it help me RUN?”  Is the choice I am going to make tangle me up or open the way to help me RUN for Jesus? 


As you read this on your phone or computer, imagine your Heavenly Father being there with you.  Standing right behind you.  If you love Him, His presence doesn’t just keep you from wanting to sin, right?  It makes you want to do something for Him. It makes you want to make Him proud.  Your Heavenly Father just asked you to throw off everything that is holding you back.  Remember, these things tangling you up could be good things, but the question is, “Does it help me RUN?”  There is a race marked out for us, there is a prize awaiting us, there is a love in front of us and we are called to RUN.  So let us not stop with the question, “Is it a Sin?” but ask ourselves, “What in my life do I need to get rid of in order that I may RUN the race that my Father has laid before me?”  So, in every situation, let us ask ourselves, “Does it help me RUN?”