“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” — James 4:17
In the early years of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln became so angered at the inactivity of Union commander George McClellan that the President wrote his commanding general this one-sentence letter:
If you don’t want to use the army, I should like to borrow it for a while.
One of the most frustrating things we can experience in life is to watch people like McClellan who can make a difference stand idly by when something must be done. And at the core of this frustration is the simple belief that those who can make a difference should make a difference. Yet very often, we excuse our own inactivity because we believe our circumstances are unique.
But over and over again in Scripture, God is clear that inactivity isn’t just unwise, but it’s very often sinful, like in the case of today’s passage. That’s why it’s so important not only to recognize when something must be done, but to act when you have the ability to do so. This is true in so many areas of life!
So when it comes to doing the right thing, don’t just be a complainer; be a doer. When the desire to do what is right meets the opportunity to act, God can use you in a powerful way to make a real difference in the world!
Pray that God would give you the strength and courage not to be just a complainer, but to be a doer!
Questions for thought
Aging presents a temptation to think about the abilities you’ve lost. Rather than focus on what you can’t do, what abilities do you have that the Lord could use even today?
Are you every tempted to think the Lord can’t use you anymore? Replace that thought with the truth of Ephesians 2:10 which says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”