“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” James 4: 17
There is an old joke that tells of a man who falls off his ship into the ocean and he watches the ship quickly sail away without noticing he had even fallen off. After a few moments of treading water and realizing that he was in a very desperate situation in the middle of the ocean with no ships in sight, he shouted to the heavens “God if you save me from drowning, I will serve you for the rest of my life.”
No sooner that he finished saying his prayer he saw a speed boat skipping over the water from the horizon towards him and as it got close it scooped him up and put on the deck safe and sound. As he sped on the boat towards land he again shouted to the heavens “To be clear God, I meant in an advisory capacity…”
We often have a category of listed things in our minds of what sin is.
For many of us sin often is the things we dislike most about other people. We see character flaws, behavior flaws, and habits/addictions in others and quickly identify those as “sin”.
To be fair, many of those things are absolutely sin but there are so many other ways we miss the mark with God; ways in which we create distance between us and God.
Our scripture reading today is reminding us clearly that any of us who knows we should do good, and don’t do good, is sinning before God.
We don’t often think of that being the case. Courage isn’t an absence of fear but rather a rising above the fear (a very real emotion for nearly every person on this planet). Sometimes it takes courage to do the good and right thing in the face of adversity and conflict.
Like the man in that old joke we can create addendums to our commitments to God. Promising to serve God for our lives but changing that to become “serving in an advisory capacity.”
Going from a feverish believer and disciple of Jesus to saying:
What I really meant was…
What I really meant to do was….
If I had more time, money, resources what I really would have like to do was…
We are called as John Wesley so eloquently stated “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” If we see a people in need, we must address it, if we see people suffering, we must address it, if we see people disenfranchised, we must address it. The author of James is telling us not to do so is as much a sin as say murder, violence, or any other sin we as humans are capable of.
I pray this week that you listen to that little or loud voice inside you encouraging you to do that good thing. To be the good in the world you, yourself, wish to see. If we all lived this verse how minimal the suffering, hurting, and brokenness would be.
May it be so,
Rev. Lou Ward
We are meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and 11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays in the Fellowship Hall.
Join us on the Second Sunday of every month for good food and good fellowship.
Military Appreciation Breakfast
Third Saturday of the month, 8 a.m.:
Veterans and Active Military and their Significant Others, join us for a hearty breakfast as we share our appreciation for your service.
United Methodist Women Monthly Meeting:
Third Thursday of every month: October 21, November 18, and December 16.
United Methodist Men's Monthly Breakfast:
*Postponed Until Further Notice
Tuesday: 8-12 am
Wednesday: 8-11 am
Thursday: 8-11 am
La Junta United Methodist Church
601 San Juan Ave
La Junta, CO 81050
Phone: (719) 384-7717
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