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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Doing Nothing Equals Something

I am signed up for an email newsletter called, “PeaceMeal” by PeaceMakers Ministries ( I thought today's newsletter was very insightful and convicting and brought up a helpful point in the theme of my “Taking Reconciliation Seriously” post. It is easier for me to recognize my sins of commission in conflict (or in anything really), but it is harder for me to recognize my sins of omission. Jesus calls us to much more than simply putting off sinful behaviors. He calls us to a heart transformation that results in fruit like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control. He doesn’t just call us to refrain from harming others, He calls us to actively do good to others—even those whom have harmed us and even when doing good inconveniences us or costs us and even when there is no affirmation for ourselves in it!

Lord, Jesus, please show us what active good you are calling us to do in the situation of our lives! Wake us up where we blissfully slumber or look the other way! Provide us with grace, courage, discernment, with the resurrection power of your Spirit to obey with fruit that supernaturally proceeds from Spirit-wrought genuine love—the very love of Christ. Let scandalous, pursuing, sacrificial, active love be our worship of you!

Here is the newsletter post from PeaceMakers Ministries:
Doing Nothing Equals Something

"Forgive us our debts..." Matthew 6:12

In fact, we can sin against God by omission -- by doing nothing. As James 4:17 tells us, "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." Therefore, if we are involved in a conflict and neglect opportunities to serve others (by failing to bear their burdens, gently restore them, etc.), we are guilty of sin in God's eyes.

Adapted from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict

by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 119.

Food for Thought

By neglecting to do good, we end up neglecting God.

Have you ever been in a situation and you just knew you were being asked to do something good, say something good, be something good -- but you didn't do it, say it, or be it? No doubt we all have. In the wake of those moments, we often feel like we've neglected someone. But how often do we live with the awareness that we've neglected God in those moments?

When we do something unto the least of our brothers or sisters, we're doing it as unto the Lord. And when we don't something unto the least of our brothers and sisters, we're not doing it unto the Lord. Omission by another name is neglect. And neglect in God's eyes is sin. Sincerely confess it to God, and ask him to help you to "do good" in that relationship in the future.

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