Failing to Do Good When We Can Is Sin – James 4:17

If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

James 4:17 NIV

Sin! As Christians we know that sin is bad and we should avoid it. We label as sinful those actions that are harmful and/or hurtful to other people. We recognize that acting in ways that are contrary to the instruction we find in the Bible is sinful. And for he most part we try to live good lives that are free of these sins of commission.

But how often are we guilty of thinking of sin as just doing bad things? James makes clear that sin is much broader than that. Sin also includes failing to do good when I have the opportunity to do so. If I have the opportunity to help someone, and I decline, then I have sinned. Don’t be content with avoiding evil; look for the good you can do in the world around you. Don’t be guilty of failing to do the good that is within your power to do.

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