The promise I drew from my box this morning, declared this:
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin. -James 4:17
At first when I read it, my thinking went back to the way I was taught; and to be honest, the only time I heard that verse quoted was when I was being scolded for doing something I knew I shouldn’t be doing.
However, after pondering this verse, I realize there is much more to it than meets the eye. I have always viewed this verse as a measuring stick to show me the things I’ve done wrong, and that surely fits, but what about the sins of omission? What about the things I should have done, but did not do?
We always seem to focus on the bad things we’ve done…the actions we’ve committed that were wrong, as being sin -and they are; but what about the acts of forgiveness, the kindness we should have shown but did not, the friend or relative we should have witnessed to but failed miserably in that quest? Or, what about the homeless person, the addict, the prostitute we should have felt compassion for-but did not? In the eyes of God, are these not sins as well?
From now on, when we see that verse or hear it, let’s allow its words to encompass us… to speak to us in its full context. It’s not only the things we do that we’ll be judged for…it is also those things that we fail to do!