Pastor’s Pen 10/01/2021

Pastor’s Pen 10/01/2021

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

Currently, in youth group on Wednesday nights, we are working through the book of James.  And although   there are many convicting passages and verses, in my book, none of them can touch the conviction found in James 4:17.  This verse has kept me up at night, caused me to pause many times, and required me to have tough conversations with fellow believers.

Often we are focused on what is called the “sins of  commission.”  Meaning these are things that we DO that does not honor or please God.  For instance, we  tell a lie, hate someone in our heart, or take something that is not ours.  A sin of commission is where we choose not to do something or do something that is sin, and we decide to do the sinful thing.

James 4:17 covers the other type of sin that we most  often try to bury in our subconscious because the sheer magnitude of possibility can bring intense conviction and repentance.  James 4:17 states, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”  This describes the “sin of omission.”  The sin of omission is where we are supposed to do something to either obey or honor God, and we fail to do it.

Ponder with me the sheer magnitude of possibilities of sin that this verse unlocks.  Do you mean that if I fail to love God with my mind and regularly study His Word, then I could be in sin?  Yes.  Do you mean that if I am    told to trust God with circumstances in my life but instead become a busy body and try to solve this situation in my power, I could be in sin? Yes again.  Are you actually saying that if I fail to have patience with my wife or children, I could be in sin? Absolutely yes!  Are you starting to get the picture?

Sin is so pervasive and prevalent that if we do not know His Word and what He has told us to do, our lives can be riddled with sins of omission. This even extends to being bold for Jesus in situations where this may be difficult.  Luke 9:26 gives the idea that we are not to be ashamed of our savior, but when we fail to speak up about the majesty of God because we are afraid of what people think, then our shame is revealed, and you have failed to do “the right thing.”  James 4:17 calls this sin.

So where are you?  Are you meditating on the commands of God that Christians should be pursuing or doing but often fail?  My encouragement is to consider James 4:17 often and let it be a convicting voice when we face the temptation of inaction.

Pastor Jamie



  1. Thank you for this! I m so looking forward to being able to come to church again. I really needed this! Although I have continued praying and reading my Bible, I believe I may have strayed a bit. Since I m not working now…it frees me up to come. I need to hear the word and be closer to God. Ty..I feel I need to take some time now to pray for forgiveness.

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