10 Ways We Sin Without Knowing

by Jen on April 10, 2011

didn't know i sinnedWe know sin exists and most of us think we know what it looks like, but sin can be sneaky. There are times we sin without knowing … or maybe without wanting to know.

Sin doesn’t just happen. First there is temptation, and then there is a choice.

Romans 6:12 tells us: “Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires.”

“Let” implies choice. We have free will, and therefore we have a choice to choose God or to choose sin.

So if we have a choice, then how do we sin without knowing?

Secret Sin… and What to Do About It

Last week we talked about the “secret” self — and how despite our attempts to hide, God already knows our secrets. Once we realize this, we also realize just how much we need him in those dark rooms.

But some dark rooms go unclaimed. Yes, they exist, but we don’t feel connected to them, so it’s like we can’t see them. We act out of them, react to them and defend them, but for some reason (pride? insecurity?) we remain in denial.

I heard a sermon that once referred to them as “blind spots.”

Below are 10 sins that we don’t often acknowledge as sin. Review the list as a preparation, but then take the real challenge.

This week begins the series Uncovering Sin and Finding Forgiveness. If you really want God to search your heart and see if you sin without knowing, this is for you. To read part one, click here.

10 sins that often slip by as “OK” in our daily life:

1. Holding grudges
2. Justifying wrong attitudes
3. Putting your desires first (before God)
4. Feeling annoyed over the success of others
5. Getting hurt easily and reacting out of the hurt
6. Underpaying (taking advantage of others’ work)
7. Skimping on the work you are being paid to do
8. Criticizing and finding fault — secretly or outwardly
9. Focusing on the cares of the world — meaning putting your full attention and trust in the “things” of the world, like money, power, possessions, etc. When we put our full focus on them and allow them to define us, we lose focus of who we are in Christ. This doesn’t mean not caring about what happens in the world.
10. Gossiping or speaking unkindly of those not present

Go through the list again. If you can say “yes” to an item, confess it. Ask the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart for cleansing. Thank God for the miracle he is performing in your life!

We can find peace in remembering this: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).


“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:2

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Hua April 11, 2011 at 11:41 am

Sigh… guilty on all ten counts, and more I bet!

david April 11, 2011 at 11:42 am

Great post Jen, thanks for what I think is true encouragement – a way out from those “hard-to-reach places.” Glory to God!

Jennifer Johns April 11, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Thank God for being merciful!

THEOPHILUS July 6, 2011 at 11:21 am

Thank GOD For being merciful

SANI DANIEL August 31, 2011 at 6:07 pm

I also want to add of the sins listed above .this is a deadly sin which we taking as pleasure but as i said we need to very carefuly of this sin. which is FORNICATION AND ADULTERY.

Jennifer Johns August 31, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Agreed Sani. Jesus said that if you so much as look at a woman with lust you commit adultery. (Matthew 5:27)

This isn’t at all what the world teaches us, especially with so many lustful images all around and the idea that “sex sells.” There are many ways to commit sexual sin without having a physical act … perhaps a great topic for a blog post.

Thank you!

Enobong May 2, 2012 at 6:53 am

I get hurt easily and react to it.what should i do

chioma November 15, 2015 at 6:02 pm

Thank u for helping me with this message

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