I don't know if you've heard that one before, but its a pretty famous quote. Movies that aim to inspire us to courage often throw this line in somewhere. Books that cover the horrors of the holocaust, wars, and other injustices often use this line right at the beginning or the end. Its very common for this quote to be used for the larger than life type of situations where it is clear to us all that good men and women need to stand up and do something rather than just let the world be as it is.
But does that apply to everyday life as well? On Tuesday, I wrote about the way Jesus would bravely defend those in need and fight against those who would oppress them. So what about the person who gets bullied at our school or the guy at work that nobody treats well? What about the shouts we hear outside our house of an angry man yelling at his wife? What about the person on the bus or train in front of us who looks so depressed? All throughout the day, are we the kind of people who do nothing? If we do nothing, can we really call ourselves good?
Did you know the Bible agrees that doing nothing is a sin?
Often, we think of sin as the bad things that we choose to do. Its sin when we cheat in school, tell a lie, or yell at someone in unrighteous anger. These are what are called sins of commission. They are things we have actually done and sins we have actually committed.
But the Bible doesn't just leave it there. There are also sins of omission. This is when we fail to do the good things we know we should do. Its not just a sin when we tell a lie, its also a sin when we see someone who needs to be encouraged and don't say anything to them! Its not just a sin when we yell at or threaten someone, its also a sin when we see that happening and don't do something to protect the person being threatened! When we know what the right thing is and fail to do it because we are too scared, too busy, too lazy, or whatever the reason, then we are sinning.
Similarly, its sin when we don't spend time with God. Its sin when we don't share the gospel with a person we know doesn't believe in Jesus. Its sin when we don't love our wives or respect our husbands.
Why am I telling you this? Its not to give you a guilt trip. No way! Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins and take away all of our guilt. The Bible says there is no condemnation for any of us in Christ. If you are not a Christian and this has made you realize that you are guilty, then turn to Jesus for salvation. What He did on the cross is enough to pay for your sins and get you forgiven by God. Put your faith in Him and begin living for Him!
If you are a Christian, then what I want you to see is that God has made us to be people of action. He desires for us to DO good things and not just sit around expecting other people to handle it. This world and the people in it need a lot of love and help. God desires to use us to bring His love and help into this world.
As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. One of the things He does is convicts us and guides us when there are things He wants us to do. We need to recognize His promptings. When your conscience speaks up inside of you and makes you feel like you should be doing something, then do it! Pay attention to what the Holy Spirit is calling you to do. Get involved in what happens around you. We usually know what the right thing to do is in most situations. The problem is that we simply don't do it.
Let's be the kind of people who take action to honor God. Let's pay attention to and obey the leading of the Holy Spirit. Let's be the kind of people who actually do the right thing rather than the kind of people who know what the right thing is but want somebody else to do it. All that is necessary for evil to triumph in our day to day lives is for good Christians to do nothing. May it never be.
- What are some things my conscience has been urging me to do lately? What are some things the Holy Spirit has been leading me to do lately?
- What has kept me from doing them?
- What steps can I take to be a person who does whet I know is right?
- Have I trusted in Jesus to forgive my sins of commission and omission? Do that today and let your pastor or myself know!
- Don't forget to vote for next Tuesday's topic at the top right of the page!