However, my need to feel safe often causes me to make mistakes. Sometimes my fear handicaps my ambition. Other times my timidity keeps me from taking advantage of great opportunities. But, worst of all, my need to feel safe has also caused me to sin.
Ever heard of sin by omission? Basically, the theory is that it is possible to sin against God without doing anything. There are actions that we are commanded to take, and when we fail to take them we are rebelling against God, which is the definition of sin. This is against what we usually think about as sin, which is an action directly defying a command from God. Yet, some of the most powerful sins can come from not acting at all.
There are many examples of sin by omission: choosing not to speak up for your faith, neglecting to lend a hand to a neighbor in need, choosing to ignore a situation when you have an opportunity to love someone, choosing apathy over justice, and the one that I most often fall into, the lack of holding one another accountable.
So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall. (Romans 14:13 NLT)
We usually look at this verse in the context of being a good example and not leading others into temptation. However, are you not responsible for someone else’s sin if you see it happening and do nothing to stop it? Are we not commanded to help remove the specks from one anothers’ eyes? So, then, is it not a sin to refrain from confronting the sinful behavior of a Christian brother or sister? Does not that perfectly fit the definition of sin by omission?
Personal accountability should be paramount as we look to advance the kingdom of God. If we are not helping each other stay on the narrow path, then we are not only being bad friends, but we are being blatantly sinful. No matter how introverted or shy you claim to be, there is no excuse not to love people enough to confront them.
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. (Proverbs 27:17 NLT)