I Didn’t Do It


You had me until here, James’ little book about being a Christian. James is always challenging. James reminds us this morning about sins of omission. What is that? A sin of omission is when not doing something is the wrong thing to do. Wait! How can I her in trouble for NOT doing something?

A few days ago I attended a workshop on elder abuse and negligence. Sometimes adult caregivers do not provide food, bathing, or adequate care for their elderly relatives. This is called neglect. It is not an active abuse, but a passive one. Elderly patients need help to do normal, everyday tasks, like going to the bathroom, eating, getting dressed and so on. To withhold assistance in a clear case of need is neglect. A person can be charged with a crime if they neglect the care of an elderly person. Yes. You can get into trouble doing nothing.

The Bible takes it a step further. To withhold good when it is in your power to do so is a sin. This always convicts me when I pass a homeless person, or see the chance to participate in a anti-abortion event. It may also include attending a church, or praying for someone in need, or any number of things I haven’t thought of yet. Once we’ve conquered the realm of sins we can commit, there’s a whole other world of sins we commit by doing nothing.

Thanks James. Well, I guess I have something new to think about today. God bless in your journey this Monday!

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I've been in ministry in the Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ for 20+ years. Finished my doctorate in Biblical Studies in 2015. Serve today as a Hospital Chaplain.

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