We all know what sin is, right?
Murder, gluttony, adultery, lying, stealing, etc. The list could go on and on.
But did you know there’s another one that we rarely consider?
James 4:17, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (ESV)
This one little statement encompasses a lot more possibilities of sin.
I mean murder is murder. How many of us, truly, are going to go out and kill someone, either in a fit of rage or premeditated? It’s not something I plan to do in my lifetime.
Of course, we all have probably been a little gluttonous, or told a lie, or maybe even stole something (like that pen you’re using that came from your workplace, hmmm?). But we’ve asked for and received forgiveness for those. Or at least we should have.
But do you remember to ask for forgiveness for the things you DON’T do?
Did you see that man on the side of the street begging and feel the urge to give him some money or food, but you were in a hurry and didn’t want to bother with it?
Or maybe the elderly person in front of you in the grocery store was a little slow about getting something high off a shelf, and you zoomed around him or her or took a different way?
Or maybe you had the opportunity to serve at your church (or promised to serve), but decided you had something else to do and didn’t go?
Do you remember the last time the Spirit prompted you to do something GOOD for someone? Did you do it?
If not, you sinned.
And to be sure, I am not only pointing a finger at you. I have several pointing back at me. I have bypassed the beggar on the street corner or at the stop light when I’ve been prompted to help him. I have ignored the opportunities to serve others at church because I didn’t “feel” like it. And probably a myriad of other things that the Spirit led me toward that I ignored. And to me, those were sin.
No, I didn’t commit murder or adultery, I didn’t lie or steal, but I didn’t do the good I knew to do.
Sin is sin is sin.
Thank God for forgiveness and new mercies every day. Let’s do the good that God has set before us today.