Monday, March 20, 2017

Sins of Omission

Chuckle: A man asked the barber, “How much for a haircut?”  “Eight dollars,” said the barber. “And how much for a shave?” “Six dollars.” “Okay, then, shave my head.”
Quote: “A man does not sin by commission only, but often by omission” –Marcus Aurelius
“Remember, it is a sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it” (James 4:17 NLT).
Let’s look at another kind of sin and the temptations that lead us to neglect doing what we know God would have us do. When boiled down to its basic definition, such sin is the result of self-centeredness – doing what I want instead of doing what God would have me do. We fail to act right because we think it is not in our best interests. But remember, refraining from doing what we know is right is a sin just as doing what we know is wrong. 
I’m certain the master tempter, Satan, wrings his hands with glee when he convinces a Christian that sins of omission (failing to do what we know we should do) are not really sins at all or are of minor importance when compared to sins of commission (doing what we know we should not do). After all, you haven’t really done anything wrong. So, how can doing nothing be a sin? Answer; when doing nothing is disobeying God and is contrary to His will. When God has convicted you that you should do something and you don’t do it, you have sinned. It is sinful to do wrong and equally sinful not to do right. Let’s look at some specific Biblical examples where sins of omission are clearly evident:
 Paul juxtaposes the two concepts of sin in Romans 7:14-20. “For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep doing” (Romans 7:18-19 NIV). Paul laments his tendency toward both types of sins, commission and omission. He does what he knows is wrong and he doesn’t do what he knows he should do. Here is a picture of the new nature in conflict with the fleshly sinful nature in which it dwells.
The classic example given by Jesus is the account of the Good Samaritan. A man was beaten and robbed and left beside the road in desperate need of help. The first two men, a priest and a Levite, passed him by without offering help. The third man, a Samaritan, stopped and showed compassion to the man in need (Luke10:3o-37). Jesus clearly communicated that it is sinful to avoid doing good, just as it is sinful to pursue what is evil.
Here’s a practical example of a sin of omission. After prayerful consideration, your pastor or other church leader asks you to teach a Bible Study class. You know in your heart you are qualified and capable, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and you sense God is calling you to accept this responsibility. But self-centeredness raises its ugly head and you just can’t bring yourself to commit that much time and effort, so you refuse the invitation. By doing so, you sentence yourself to a time of self-imposed guilt like that which Paul lamented.
Love, Jerry & Dotse 


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