To Do or Not to Do

Saturday, Apr. 18

James 4:17. “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” This verse has always bugged me, not because it’s in error, but that it convicts me on a regular basis. It always reminds me of something that I should have done, but put it aside with “maybe” or “some day” . . . I have things that I do that I shouldn’t do, too, but I generally find those things a little easier to deal with. It’s the things that I think of doing—no doubt prompted by the Holy Spirit—that I ignore or postpone that really get to me. I’m pretty good at letting those things fade into the background. For example, I know that a member of our church is lonely and would like some companionship. Do I need to go further? What bugs me is that I can’t escape the fact that God calls it sin. The knowledge that the Bible is God’s revealed Word and that it is inspired doesn’t help much. The fact that the Bible says I’m responsible for my brother doesn’t help, either. Thinking of the verse about quenching the Spirit comes to mind, too. I guess you can conclude (as I do) that God is still in the process of changing me. And this is where cooperation with God comes into the picture. I need to face up to the fact that I need to change, and I need to follow the nudging of the Spirit. I praise God that He is merciful and forgiving, but that must not be an excuse to avoid doing things that need to be done. Sin is sin and though my sinful nature would like to avoid it, I need to deal with it.

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