25 November 2014
Sins of Omission
This blog post has been a few weeks in draft. It stems out of a couple of discussions we've had recently in our Bible Study group, when we briefly touched on "sins of commission" and "sins of omission". The topic has really got me thinking...
Sin is an emotive word, which perhaps could be defined as 'something that we do that is wrong'. It describes one of those occasions when we mess up. It may be a breach of a moral law or principle; if you have a faith it might be doing something that you know is contrary to what we know to be God's will.
Sins of commission are those things that we do that are wrong and that we are overt or even proactive in doing. We do something that we shouldn't. Examples include: Lying, stealing.
Sins of omission, in contrast, are those things that we don't do that we know we should. Examples include: not standing up for what you know is right. James 4:17 is often used as a scriptural example for the second point: "So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin." Or we could look at Luke 10:30-37: Jesus' teaching in the parable of the Good Samaritan. The two men who did not help are usually considered as committing a sin of omission.
However, the discussion went on a little further... Is failing to do something that you know deep down is right an omission, or in fact a definite decision on our part? Is it, in fact, deliberate disobedience to what we perceive to be the will of God? Surely that would then make it a sin of commission...
It's odd. This particular subject just won't go away.
Forgive me, Lord, as I continue to pray into this.