Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sins of Omission

Have you ever felt a tugging at your heart, and ignored it?

Perhaps you heard God whispering in your ear, "speak to that person" or "join that group" or "stand up for the right." If you've always heeded that call, then congratulations. If you're a sinner like most of us, then you've probably failed at this more than once.

Last week my family was involved in a car accident. It was an amazing experience—a Dodge pickup slammed into a semi truck ahead of us, spraying an explosion of glass and metal through the air, then it bounced off our back fender leaving little more than a crease. There were six of us in the Suburban, and we were gasping with relief, praising God that no one got so much as a scratch. The truck was a mangled wreck, but the driver walked out unhurt.

He was badly shaken. He told my dad that he was having a terrible time in his life, going through a divorce, etc., and he had fallen asleep at the wheel. My heart went out to him. What loneliness, what despair...and then to put the lives of seven other people in jeopardy—no wonder he was panicking.

I felt like going to him and telling him everything was OK. No harm done, everyone makes stupid mistakes, he had our wholehearted forgiveness, but most of all, that God had saved his life for a special purpose. My heart tugged in his direction, and I almost got out of my seat several times.

Would he have brushed me off? Maybe.
Would he have ignored me? Perhaps.
Would my words have made an impact? I'll never know.

I didn't say anything. I stayed in the car for two hours while my parents went through formalities with the police. The man paced around on his cell phone for a while, then finally rode away from the scene. The opportunity evaporated.

The truly aggravating thing? Minutes later I was in the exact same position, except that I was familiar with the person I needed to talk to and I knew that he needed a word of sympathy as he had recently lost a friend. Did I stop him as he walked out of Walmart with his bags of groceries? Did I share a friendly salutation or word of comfort? No. I walked right inside. I ignored the Voice of Heaven.

I pray that those two men didn't suffer because of my disobedience, that God used someone else to do my work. But I still missed out on the blessing.

Why am I telling you this? Because I think it's so easy to ignore that Voice. It's easy for our hearts to grow used to it, growing callouses in the places where they ought to be tender. Lately I've been praying that God would give me a heart for those He cares for, that I would feel His love and His pain. He answered that prayer—and I refused to act on it.

"If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself." - 2 Timothy 2:13

This is one of the most beautiful verses in the Bible. It clearly spells out the fact that there is grace for the faithless. There is hope even for the apathetic and the cowardly.

Let us repent. Let us submit to God now. Let us humble our hearts, banish fear, and recommit to faithfulness. We have failed, but God is good. Who is he who condemns?


  1. Lauralea3/05/2013

    Yikes! Thank the Lord he protected you. But I'm glad you saw the opportunity for grace in this. The Lord uses the hardest things in our day to point others to himself!

  2. Isn't that wonderful? Uncomfortable experiences are usually the most impacting.


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