Have you understood what is causing all the trouble in the world? It is sin.
Without sin, there would be no evil in the world. It is through sin that evil gets into the world. Remove sin and the world becomes a wonderful place for everybody.
Many people do not know the full meaning of sin; and so commit some sins without knowing. They see sin only in terms of the bad things that people do. This is incomplete. Sin is the bad things which people do and the good things which people fail to do.
The bad things which people do are sins of commission. The good things which people fail to do are sins of omission.
By omission, they fail to do things that they could, and ought to have done. St. James states this clearly in his fourth letter, ‘… those who do not do the good they know they should do are guilty of sin (James 4:17).
There are many things that we are supposed to do but which we fail to do. Yet, we do not bother that we have failed to do them. We ought to bother because they are sins. By failing to do the good that we should have done we disobey God.
A good study will show you that the so many problems that we have in the world are not caused by what we have done alone but both by what we have done and what we have failed to do.
Take injustice in the world.
Those who commit the sin of injustice are not only those who do unjust acts, but also those who fail to stop injustice when they are able to. This means those who fail to speak out against injustice when they are in a position to do so; and those who can do something about injustice but do nothing.
Someone has said: ‘He who has the ability to act on an injustice, but who stands idly by, is just as guilty as he who holds the knife.’
As Martin Luther King says, ‘In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.’
Yes! If our friends are silent when an injustice is being done to us, they do great harm to us; a harm as great as, if not greater than the injustice itself. Luther must have found this sin of omission more serious than the sin of commission.
We commit many sins of omission every day; but sadly we do not seem to be aware. We ought to be conscious of both the sins of commission and the sins of omission and avoid committing them so that our world can become the excellent place that our creator meant it to be.