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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
(Part 170)

SINS OF OMISSION

May 23, 2018
Today’s reading: James 4:13-17


James says, “So for one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, it is a sin.” (v.17). This refers to sins of omission.

When we look at sin, we immediately think of things we do that are wrong. Serious sins such as murder, rape, sexual licentiousness, idolatry. Or lesser sins such as unrighteous anger, envy, minor theft. But there is another set of sins. These are the things we should do but do not do. This has to do with the commands of God.

Consider the following (corresponding command in parenthesis):

  • Not striving to love God with your whole heart, mind, soul and strength (Mt 22:37).
  • Not loving your neighbor as you love yourself (Mt 22:39; Jn 13:34; Jn 15:12).
  • Not striving for Christian perfection (Mt 5:48).
  • Not being merciful to others (Lk 6:36).
  • Not forgiving 77 times (Mt 18:21-22).
  • Not loving or blessing your enemies (Lk 6:27-28).
  • Failing to proclaim the gospel when you have the opportunity (Mk 16:15; Mt 28:19).

But you might say, I didn’t do anything! Precisely! God counts on you to be His instrument in the world, to help establish His dominion. We do not live on earth simply for our own good. We are here as pilgrims on our way to heaven. Along the way, we are to strive to become more and more like God, doing His will and His work, and eventually enter into perfection in heaven

Consider what Jesus said about vigilant and faithful servants. “That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely” (Lk 12:47). What can mitigate your sin? It is not knowing the right thing to do. But for you my brethren, you have learned a lot about the Christian life and the demands of Christian living. You know. But even for those who do not know fully, omission is still a sin. As such, “the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly.” (Lk 12:48a).

We have been given much by God. We have been entrusted with much, the very work of the Kingdom. We are destined for greatness. To not become what God intends for us to become, and to not do what God intends for us to do, are serious sins of omission. “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” (Lk 12:48b).

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