Rom. 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
What is your definition of sin? For some people everything goes unless you hurt someone else. For others, it’s some kind of religious list. I’ll never forget what I found in the pulpit in our first church. It was some kind of list of rules that was concocted by the church who had used the building before us. There were things in there about swimming with members of the opposite sex and certain clothing that shouldn’t be worn. Then there was the Hindu book called Nectar of Devotion that was some sort of list of Hindu rules. The ones that got me were the ones about women not going to the temple when they were “at that time of the month” or the other one that forbade passing gas in the temple. Religion can get really complicated. Here is my definition of sin; sin is what you do when God Himself is not enough for you. Here is how John Piper describes it.
“It also follows that sin is the suicidal exchange of the glory of God for the broken cisterns of created things. Paul said, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23). Sinning is a “falling short” of the glory of God. But the Greek word for “falling short” (husterountai) means “lack.” The idea is not that you shot an arrow at God’s glory and the arrow fell short, but that you could have had it as a treasure, but you don’t. You have chosen something else instead. This is confirmed in Romans 1:23 where people “exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image.” That is the deepest problem with sin: it is a suicidal exchange of infinite value and beauty for some fleeting, inferior substitute. This is the great insult.”
So what have you replaced God with? Is it like the woman at the well that tried to find her satisfaction in another man’s arms? Or is it like the Pharisees that found their joy from the respect of other men? Maybe politics is your thing, like Simon the Zealot who wanted power in the political realm. Then there is the rich young ruler, his joy was caught up in his possessions. The bottom line is this, only when you taste the sweetest of all joys will you be able to be freed from the foolish pleasures and attractions of this world. Then you will not “fall short”, you will be right in the middle of His glory.