The Sin of Doing Nothing
November 12, 2020

Today’s 333 Devotional: “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. In their mind they thought that if they helped this man they might 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 found in Luke 10:30-37.

Jesus said this Samaritan fulfilled the greatest commandment by fulfilling the second commandment, that is, 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.

But these two religious leaders 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 we know we really 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 sitting at our store. Knowing there were things still needing to get done he would say, “Get up and do something.” I knew what I was supposed to do, and I knew 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 let’s not just sit in the pew, or at home during this pandemic and think it’s okay because no one asked. We know what we should be or ought to be doing. So, let’s do what we know is right.

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