The Sin of Doing Nothing
October 23, 2018

The Sin of Doing Nothing

A man lay close to death on the side of the road. When two religious leaders came on the scene they opted not to get involved and walked on the other side of the road. In their thinking. if they helped they may become defiled according to their religious law.

What they didn’t realize is that by trying to stay ritually clean they sinned. They committed the sin of doing nothing, or the sin of omission.

The story is the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37). And what Jesus said is that this Samaritan fulfilled the greatest commandment by loving his neighbor as himself, even though his neighbor, this Jewish man who was close to death, didn’t exactly love or respect his kind.

Yet take a look at these two religious leaders. They weren’t bad men. They weren’t thieves or robbers. They weren’t murderers or adulterers. In fact, they were considered the most righteous men of that day. Yet in this one action they failed to love God, something unthinkable in their mind.

The sin of omission is failing to do something you know you ought to do. The Apostle James gives us the perfect definition.

“Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)

I remember my dad seeing me just sitting at our store. Knowing there were things still needed to get done said, “Get up and do something.” I knew what I was supposed to do, and I knew that there were things to do, but since nobody told me I thought I was safe. But I was wrong, and my dad made sure I understood my mistake.

So, don’t just sit in the pew thinking that all is okay because no one asked you to get involved. You know what it is that you should be or ought to be doing. Do it! Do what you know is right.

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