Don't sin by NOT doing something. That's just sad. (James 4:17)

"So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin." - James 4:17

James is sometimes a scary book. There's a lot in it that certainly makes me feel like I'm saved by works and if I'm not working enough then I might not be saved. I easily fall into trying to earn my salvation even though I very much think this isn't what the book is trying to say.

Then I get here and read about sins of omission. Things I know I'm supposed to do and then don't. Like when I know I'm supposed to give to a beggar or take him to lunch but I walk by instead, somehow justifying the hurry I'm in. Or when I know I'm supposed to stop and ask the guy on the street if I can pray for him, but I don't.

It's odd how you almost have to train yourself to do the things you know you're supposed to. I frequently feel like I'm supposed to stop and pray for people. Last week I saw a girl walking down the street shaking like she was suffering from MS or something (I don't know what it was) and I felt like I was supposed to go pray for her. It's awkward sometimes, but I have a standard opening line.

"Excuse me, I don't want to make you feel uncomfortable but I believe in a powerful God and if it's okay with you I'd like to pray for you real quick." Then I ask if I can pray for healing or whatever the stink it is I feel like should pray for.

When I walk by these people it becomes harder and harder to ever stop and do what I'm supposed to. But when I stop and do it, it gets easier every next time and I like doing what I know I should be doing.

That said, in college once I walked by the boss of my boss (I worked for the University while I was attending) walked by me on the street and I had recently found out that he had HIV from a very promiscuous homosexual lifestyle years before. I walked right by him saying "No way Lord" when I knew I was supposed to pray. Turning around and running back to catch him was as awkward of a thing as I've ever done. But he was very thankful for someone to lay hands on him and pray for him. Touched I think would be the right word.

I know God wanted to use that situation. I'm glad I didn't fail to do it. I wonder about how he might have used the situations I walked right by. I hate the idea of a sin of omission. But when God wants to make use of you, if you pass it by you're probably passing by a pretty cool opportunity.

Don't miss what he has. Don't miss the opportunities for blessing, or giving, or healing, or whatever it is He calls you to. A regular sin is usually doing something sinful because we know it will satisfy us. Sins of omission are lame because it's NOT doing what will satisfy us (if not in this life then in the next) AND sinning.

Just a thought.