The “Other Side” of Sin

When you think of the phrase “committing a sin”, what comes to mind? I think for many people the idea of committing a sin means to do something that he/she is not supposed to do. That encompasses lust and lying and stealing and cursing and stuff like that. That’s what most people think of when they think of sin. But this is only one side of sin and maybe not even the most “dangerous” side of sin. In the book of James, chapter 4, James warns against making plans for your life without considering God and His plan for your life. Then he writes this: 17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Hmm…that opens an entirely different door doesn’t it? Sin doesn’t only encompass the things we do that we shouldn’t do. It also encompasses the things we should do that we don’t do. And perhaps this type of sin is “worse”; frankly because we fail to see it. For example when Jesus said that we were to love our neighbor, that means that if we don’t love our neighbor we are sinning; when I think many would believe that if I’m neutral to my neighbor or even don’t care that much, I’m OK. Or, how about if we know to forgive but do not do it? People often don’t think of unforgiveness as sin but it is.

For the church, the sin of not doing what we know to do is probably more damaging to its reputation than doing what we shouldn’t do. As the world looks at the church, it doesn’t expect us to never lie or curse or cheat. But I think the world does expect us to love our neighbor, forgive and share the good news of Jesus. Open your eyes to the world of sin At least that’s what I think…what do you think?


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