An Act of Omission is the Failure to Act
When I think of being punished, be it by God or man, I think in terms of things I do wrong. That is, doing things that I shouldn’t have done; some people call these “acts of commission”—things I have committed.While one person can't solve all of these issues—or even one of them—each person can do something. Click To Tweet
However, there can also be consequences for not doing the things we should have done. Some call these “acts of omission.”
Jesus talks about acts of omission in a parable about the sheep and the goats. The goats were guilty, not of doing wrong, but of not doing what was right. Their failure was a failure to act. Jesus even gives specific examples: a failure to feed the hungry, a failure to provide water to the thirsty, a failure to show hospitality to the stranger, a failure to give clothes to those in need, and a failure to look after the sick and imprisoned.
Each of these are huge issues—and overwhelming—but enormity is not an excuse for inaction. While one person can’t solve all of these issues—or even one of them—each person can do something, be it simply to help one person who is hungry, thirsty, homeless, needy, or hurting.
Don’t be a goat; help someone today.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.