The good I ought to do

“If anyone knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” James 4:17.

I was listening to a Bible message by Chip Ingram, a pastor on Christian radio. He was preaching on decisions we make about work and careers. What stuck out to me was this verse above. He was saying that if you have something that has been on your heart that you know you should do and haven’t done it, then it is sin. Things like mentoring someone or giving money to charity, whatever God has placed on your heart. I have to confess, I am guilty. There are things I have felt like I should do but haven’t done them. Most of the time it’s because I was too busy or just didn’t want to do whatever it was.

There are also some dreams that I have that I haven’t followed through with because I didn’t feel like it was the right time yet. I don’t think this is what he meant when he said not acting on these things is sin. I think there is a season for things and God has a perfect timing for those dreams He has placed in your heart. I think never acting on those things would be sin, but waiting on His timing is not. But this brings up the ever pressing question of knowing God’s will. I think knowing God’s will can be really difficult at times. It’s something I have thought about a lot in my life. The older I get the more difficult decisions become and the more I wish God would just send me an email about what He wants me to do. My father-in-law has always said that if you genuinely want to do God’s will He will not let you get away from it. That has been comforting to me. There are still times when it’s hard to know what I should do. I don’t want to get out of God’s will, I have been there and it’s no fun. Nothing goes well. But at the same time I don’t want to stand still and do nothing out of fear or complacency.

For now, I am going to try to do what I know I ought to do. Those things that God has placed on my heart to do. Even if they are not what I would want to do or are comfortable for me. I don’t want to come to the end of my life and have regrets for not doing something that I knew God wanted me to.


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