Commit or Omit?


“Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do

and then not do it.” James 4:17


At my age I’m doing fairly well handling the sins of commission. There are fewer and fewer things I shouldn’t do that I am doing (committing). Except, possibly, driving over the speed limit!

But, hey, this is California and ten over puts you in the pack of aging octogenarians in their fifteen year old Buicks, and gets me passed by blue haired ladies who barely can see over their steering wheels.

No, I’m feeling quite smug over the commission category of sinning. It’s the sins of omission that I still struggle with.  You know … the things you know you should be doing and conveniently ‘omit’ from your life.

It’s the word of encouragement you know you are to share with someone and you clam up. It’s the instruction from God’s Word that you got last Sunday in the sermon that you choose to ignore. It’s being exposed to a legitimate need and then talking yourself out of involvement.

It’s coming face to face with Solomon’s words in Proverbs 24:11 (“Deliver those who are being taken away to death, And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back“) and knowing it easily refers to abortion but then caving to culture’s prevailing assessment that what a woman does with her body is a personal decision. So what we know to be truth deep inside is hidden from view lest we be accused of being meddlesome.

One commentary describes the sin of omission as “knowledge without practice.” We as Christians have been accused of being ‘educated beyond our obedience.’ I think I may fit into this sad niche occasionally.

This week, let’s work on this insidious form of disobedience. Let’s really be people who are not only instructed by God’s Spirit, but led by his Spirit as well. That means that if God has something to say, we will say it. If He has someplace that needs us, we will go there. If He cries over sin and its effects in our world, we will cry with Him.  If He says something is wrong, we won’t manufacture an excuse in our hearts that makes it permissible.

If we are going to omit anything, let’s omit a life that doesn’t take God seriously!


May there be joy and obedience in your journey this week.






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