“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins” (James 4.17 NIV).
We usually think of sin as doing some sort of action against God’s will, whether it be lying, stealing, cheating, murdering, etc. But there is more to sin than simply committing actions that displease God. Sin doesn’t always have to be moving; it can also be stagnate. When the Holy Spirit convicts us to do something, like say sorry, offer a helping hand, give money, take time to pray, etc., and we disobey His voice by doing nothing, we have now sinned. There are many Christians whose actions look perfect, but their inactions are leaving a trail of disobedience behind them. God has called us to be the hands and feet of Jesus. This doesn’t mean that we have to do every good work that crosses our path—this too can be good works done in disobedience. It does mean, however, that when the Holy Spirit prompts us to act, we must obey. When we feel the God motivating our spirits with a sense of urgency and need, we can step out on faith no matter the circumstance. Yes, we may be embarrassed and we may not know the outcome, but we will feel good knowing we didn’t sin with our indifference and our complacency.
“But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash” (Matthew 7.26-27 NLT).