The Sin of Omission
Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. James 4:17
We tend to focus on sins of commission—the wrong we do. But what about sins of omission—the good we fail to do? In Christ’s parables, when someone was condemned, it was often over a sin of omission. A man was put out of a wedding because he had no wedding garment (Matthew 22:12). Five virgins were excluded from the wedding party because they had no oil in their lamps (Matthew 25:3-11). A servant, who buried his talent in the ground instead of using it, forfeited it (Matthew 25:25-28). A rich man who failed to care for his neighbor was condemned for it (Luke 16:19-24). A barren fig tree that failed to produce fruit was cursed and died (Mark 11:20-24). You say, ‘But I’m interested in a deeper spiritual life.’ Well, the deepest spiritual life is one spent doing good to others! And it’s the basis on which you’ll be judged and rewarded. ‘Then the King will…say… “I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.” Then they will reply, “Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?” And He will answer, “I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me”’ (Matthew 25:41-45). So when you’ve a chance to do good—do it!
Heavenly Father, forgive me for the things I have failed to do that You have wanted me to do. Help me to be faithful in “doing” the works You have prepared for me to do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen