Sins of Omission

What are Sins of Omission?

Sins of Omission
Sins of Omission

That’s easy – Sins of Omission are the things you didn’t do because you forgot, or because you didn’t get around to it; or because you were just plain lazy; or worse, didn’t want to!

  • Why are they Sins?

Case in point: Last Sunday Betty came back to church after 6 weeks in hospital, and didn’t get one hug! She had been really looking forward to getting back to her church family, and swapping notes, and sharing her experience, but for various reasons, nobody actually made contact. (My excuse: I was setting up the sound system!). As a result she fled the service, convinced that nobody loved her.

  • Neglect as a Sin

This was terrible, and made us feel quite guilty when we all realised what had happened. You can see for yourself why our neglect was a sin. I was looking forward to catching up after the service, but that was too late. We have to do things WHEN we are prompted, and not put them off until it is “convenient” to us.  Consider the Scripture for this:

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens: 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance ………….

and so on, and so on; and the time to do something is right now when it pops into your head.

  • The Still, Small Voice

It is my belief that the Holy Spirit of God speaks to us by that “still, small voice” in our heads, and it is the FIRST thing we hear that is from God.  The SECOND thing, and the third and so on, is our subconscious, usually offering several rationalizations about why we ought NOT to do it.  Obey that first inner prompting, you will be hearing from God and you will likely cut down dramatically on your sins of omission.

  • Obedience to God

Listening to and obeying that inner voice is the key too to knowing what God wants us to do.  When we ask Him a question in the form of; “Oh Lord, what am I to do here?”.  The FIRST thing that pops up will be the spiritual answer.  As in the sentence above, the next thing that pops up will likely be one or more reasons not to do it.  You can bet that those negative reasons are from the subconscious, and are our selfish reasons NOT to obey. The scripture promise is that the Holy Spirit will be in us, so there is no time lag from asking a question to getting the answer.  Mostly the answer is there before we have finished forming the question. If we can form the habit of instant obedience, then we are more likely to stop those “sins of omission“.


7 thoughts on “Sins of Omission

  1. The only scripture that I can think of that directly addresses the sin of ommission thing is “He who knows the good that he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” James 4:17

    So I’m not one hundred percent sure that your example above would be an accurate example of a sin of omission. That is unless I read in between the lines a little bit and tie “My excuse: I was setting up the sound system!” with “it’s my belief that the Holy Spirit of God speaks to us by that “still, small voice” in our heads”.

    In that case my “line reading” would tell me that while you were setting up the sound system, that still small voice was telling you that you need to let that wait for now, and that the more important thing was to spend time with Betty. If that is ‘true’ then ok you were guilty of a sin of omission. Otherwise you were ‘not’ aware of the good that you should do and therefore did not sin.

    1. Hi Tim – Great to have you on board.

      The keyword here is “choices”. You made me think about the mechanics of this a bit, and I think it goes like this. There is a point when we processed the data available, and we then chose either path 1 or path 2.

      The Preist and the Levite “chose” to hurry off and unlock the Temple, (i.e., set up the sound system), rather than obey that first prompting to minister to the Samaritan lying in the ditch. I “chose” to ignore my first inner prompting, which was to take the time to welcome Betty as soon as I spotted her. Of course the die was then set, and it was too late to do anything different. That is the real point of all this perhaps. There ARE ONLY TWO TIMES IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. “Right now”, and “Too late”…. Don’t know the source of that, but it surely is apt here!

      As you suggest above, I AM guilty of a sin of omission. I am feeling a lot of the weight of the depression that settled on Betty that day. I have said before that we need to always be available for whatever our God may ask of us this day. My bad 😳 – Rhys

  2. Sins of omission is neglecting to do the right thing. It’s like this, you know you need to do this right thing, but you did not do it anyway because you don’t want to.

    1. Hi There Crystal!

      A wee suggestion: get the sins of omission ( as discussed below) in line and the sins of commission might just take care of themselves

      😉 – Rhys

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