Devotionals

March 2013

“Therefore to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” James 4:17

Last month I was reading the Book of James. Though I have read it few times in the past, I never really meditated on this particular verse. The Epistle of James, considered as one of the wisdom literatures in the Bible along with Job, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes is the only one wisdom literature in the New Testament. James was writing this letter to the twelve tribes that were scattered abroad. As James is an Apostle for the Jews. He was writing this verse to the Jewish Christians who knew the law and were very precise about right, wrong, good, bad and knowledge of Sin. James in this verse doesn’t simply say that doing bad is sin. Rather He raises the benchmark of every Christian by saying, “If you know to do good and do not do it, it’s a sin”. We sometimes justify ourselves by comparing to others saying, “We are not as bad as they are; we are not doing any bad to anyone as they did.” However, the Bible says that even if we fail to do good when we know to do it, it is a sin. Just think how many times we walked past that poor woman thinking that someone else would help her, how many times we had failed to chide that brother of his ways to correct him, how many times we really failed to stop a quarrel and bring peace, how many times we even failed to sit and listen to someone’s brokenness, when we really had all the time to listen to it, how many times we missed the opportunity to share the good news to someone who never knew about Jesus, and how many times we even hesitated to confess to God of our failures. Yes, we know how to do good. but many times, we fail to do it. This is what James reminds us about. Christian life is not about avoiding doing bad, but finding out and using every single opportunity to do good. Are we ready to do good?

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