What Does It Mean to Sin Against Yourself?

Tomorrow begins the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, the Day of Repentance. It comes after 10 days of introspection when we explore the sins we’ve committed and how to rectify them. We ask for forgiveness from those we’ve wronged as well as from God.

There are three types of sins in the Jewish traditions: sins against others, sins against ourselves and sins against God. I’ve been thinking a lot about the second kind today: sins against ourselves. These are really sins against God as well since at the core of our being lies a divine soul, a spark of God.

Plus, God put us here, gave us this life, to fulfill a purpose. Call it a soul purpose if you will. We have something we are to do in this lifetime. If we don’t do it, we leave that purpose unfulfilled. In my mind, that’s a sin against ourselves and against God.

Each year you have at least one time to reflect on how well you live your life, such as the New Year, or you can reflect on this continuously. Are you taking care of the temple God has given you—your body? Are you taking care of your mind and your spirit? Are you giving back to the world in some way? Are you sharing your talents and gifts?

Are you missing the mark? In the Jewish tradition, that’s the definition of a sin. Like an archer shooting an arrow at the bull’s eye and not quite hitting it. But if you never even put the arrow in the bow, you can’t know if you your arrow will hit the mark and make an impact. So put your arrow in the bow, and let it fly. Fulfill your purpose and make a difference in the world.

Here’s a short video I made to day that talks about this same idea.

If you want to explore if you’ve missed the mark or take a 10-day introspective journey, please consider purchasing my two books on these topics. Both of them are appropriate for anyone from any religious or spiritual tradition:

4 thoughts on “What Does It Mean to Sin Against Yourself?”

  1. hello.. how do i know what my purpose is?.. i pray continually about it.. i want so much to use my talents for God.. but i don’t get an answer.. thanks for your response

    1. Adira,

      Choose a purpose. Don’t wait for it to hit you on the head. How would you like to serve? What is your gift–something you do well? Focus on these. Hope that helps.

  2. Choose a purpose. Don’t wait for it to hit you on the head. How would you like to serve? What is your gift–something you do well? Focus on these.

    Let say you do all of these. Now how will identify it is it really?

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