You could attempt to not sin. Benjamin Franklin tried, and recorded the effort in his autobiography, “I conceiv’d the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection. As I knew, or thought I knew, what was right and wrong, I did not see why I might not always do the one and avoid the other.” He made a chart of virtues: Temperence, Silence, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Chastity, Humility. He recorded his success (and failure): Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and “was supris’d to find myself so much fuller of faults than I had imagined.” A good way to become aware of our sins is to try not to.
The Apostle Paul discovered this and cried out in despair, “I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing” (Romans 7:18-19). Our sin is not merely personal, but ultimate, against God our Creator, who made us in his image to be holy, and thus, “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), eternal separation from God. In trying to be good, Paul discovered he cannot be good enough for heaven, but he is certainly bad enough for hell. “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24). When we become aware of our sin, we become aware of our need, not for a system, but a Savior. Now he is asking the right question, not can I be good enough, but who is good enough?
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~Romans 6:23
It is an age-old question, do you want the good news first or the bad? We need the bad news first. The bad news of sin prepared Paul for the good news of a Savior.
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty. We worship You, adore You, praise You. But how, then, do we approach You? For we are not holy. Far from it.
By the blood of Jesus Christ, who bore our sins, we are made righteous with his righteousness. I may approach You, O God, with confidence, through a holiness not of my own, but through my Savior, my Lord, my God, my friend, Jesus Christ.