THE SERVANT GENERAL
WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
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).