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Undone Good Intentions

May 1, 2018

I was reading this morning and a verse just popped out and hit me pretty hard.  I’ve read it before and I even have it underlined, but it describes something I have felt I could be working on.  Maybe God allowed my eyes to pass over this verse today, as a gentle reminder.  Here’s the verse…


James 4:17Remember, it is a sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.


Ouch!  What this verse is saying is that sin is not only actively committing evil deeds; it is also passively failing to do what you know God wants you to do.  This is the sin of omission. 


We are called to be faithful to do the good God has shown us to do.  Generally speaking, sin is a matter of going our own way, defying God and falling short of His standard.  When we don’t do something that God has told us we should do, we are simply going our own way…we’re falling short.


If we are to have a meaningful relationship with Christ, it means we are called to do more than just be avoiding and resisting evil; it is also about pursuing and doing good.  That sin is not simply a matter of bad things we knowingly do, but it is also a matter of good things we knowingly neglect.


1 John 3:18My little children, let us love not in word and speech, but in action and truth.


That word again, action.  Our true love for God is shown and expressed in our actions and when it is done for his purpose. 


I have a long list of undone “good intentions”.  I can plan, pray, educate and prepare, but if that is where it is left, if that is where it sits, and God has called me to this, then I am doing nothing less than sinning.


So is there something you know you should be doing that you are not?  Is there something you are supposed to be stopping that you haven’t yet?  Is God calling you to “act” on something that for whatever reason you have not yet done?


Action is sometimes difficult.  It can be tough physically, it can be inconvenient, difficult, out of your comfort zone, or maybe it is a risk.  But, if God has called you to it, He will walk with us as we act on it.

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