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Mincing Sins?

You have no doubt heard the term “mincing words”.  This means to be vague and not clear in an explanation to a question. As if we don’t want to say what we really know or are thinking. And I wonder today, if we get caught up in this idea of “mincing sins”. Where we know the truth about sinful activity, but don’t want to be held down to the depth of it. In our Life Group this week, we discussed James 4:17, “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” (NLT) We discussed what James seems to be saying in this passage. Many scholars and Bible teachers break this down to mean that we could be guilty of the “sin of omission”. In other words, Christians typically consider “sin” as something we’ve actually done that we shouldn’t have. This is clearly considered disobedience. But have you actually thought about the true meaning of this verse in James? Is it possible that we could also be sinful in knowing there are things we ought to do, but for whatever reason we don’t? And could those things be considered sinful? Could there be such a thing as sins of omission? I mean, wouldn’t that be considered disobedience as well?

The Word of God is filled with examples of things that God commanded people to do, and they didn’t do it. Some might say there is a difference between outright refusal, and procrastination because we “don’t feel like it”. To me, this is an example of what “mincing sins” is really all about. As Christians, we’re going to have to stop making a determination of what we think sinfulness is. Disobedience is disobedience, no matter how or why we’ve done it. I personally don’t want to have any excuses offered to God. I want to be completely obedience on both sides; whether it’s staying away from things I ought not do, or things I know I should do...but don’t. I think God looks at them the same. Remember the words of the Apostle John in 1 John 2:4-6 “Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”

John is clear that “doing what He commands” isn’t optional; whether it’s doing what we’re supposed to do, or staying away from what we shouldn’t. Obedience is obedience. I want to avoid mincing words, because mincing words can lead to mincing sinfulness. One thing is for sure: Neither pleases God. And I want to please God. Don’t you?

Love and prayers,

Dr. D.