11/22/17 Omission and Commission

READING: Ezekiel 18-19, James 4

“So it is a sin for the person who knows to do what is good and doesn’t do it.”

James 4:17

No one ever taught me much about sins of omission. I learned a lot about the things I should NOT be doing, but not as much about what I should be doing. I did have folks encourage me to read the Word, pray, and evangelize, but that encouragement was typically only brief. And, I heard it most when I was a new believer – not so much after others assumed I would know what I needed to be doing.

It was several years into my Christian journey before I truly read and understood James 4:17—“So it is a sin for the person who knows to do what is good and doesn’t do it.”  Apparently, I then learned, sin is not only not doing the bad stuff; it’s also failing to do the good stuff we know we need to do. That truth means that it was not enough for me simply to walk away from committing those sins that hindered me as a young believer. Walking away was only one side of the coin that also required me to turn to do the things God demanded of me.

As I now reflect on those days, I’ve since learned that doing the good stuff is actually a primary means of avoiding doing the bad stuff. The disciplines others encouraged me to do as a young believer aren’t just important habits; they’re acts of relationship and obedience that turn our hearts away from the things we don’t want to do. When we spend our time doing the things God has called us to do, we don’t have time left to fall into sin patterns. So, seeking to avoid sins of omission also helps us to turn from sins of commission.


  • List some things you should be doing that you’re not currently doing.
  • Turn from these sins of omission. 

PRAYER: “Lord, please convict me over my sins of omission.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Ezekiel 20-21, James 5


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