DID YOU KNOW that, in some cases, sins of omission can be more hurtful than sins of commission?
No matter how unkind we may act toward someone, we are at least acknowledging that they are alive. When we totally ignore them, it is as if they have grown invisible -- they have, in effect, become worthless in our eyes! And, yes, this sin hurts them terribly, but do you realize who is going to be hurt the most? The day that YHVH holds up the mirror of His Torah, and we look into it and see our sins clearly, we will experience intense pain, loathing ourselves for the suffering we caused someone else, someone we may have professed to love. And, even though we would not have done it intentionally, the damage was inflicted nonetheless.
But who did we really sin against? We caused someone great hurt, but we sinned against YHVH -- and Him alone! An example is King David’s prayer after he had sinned with Bathsheba and murdered Uriah, her husband, “Against You, You only, I have sinned, . . .” [Psalm 51:4a]
Whether it is an action committed against someone, or an action we failed to perform, both are sin. If it happened before we became believers, or afterwards, does not change the fact that sin is still sin.
When we seek forgiveness for our sins, YHVH is faithful to forgive, but there is always a requirement on our part. Again, the answer can be found in King David’s prayer, “The sacrifices of Elohim (are) a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, Elohim, You will not despise.” [Psalm 51:17] We cannot have a broken and contrite heart unless we are actively dying to self. It matters not what the reason may be that we cannot reach out in kindness to the person needing it -- the fact remains that, if we are unable to die to self and reach out in the kindness that has been shown to us, we are still the center of our universe; and we are withholding that position from the One to whom it belongs.
Our cry should be the cry of King David, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation , and uphold me a willing spirit, (then) I will teach transgressors Your ways; and sinners will turn back to You.” [Psalm 51:12-13]
But how can we bring the Light of the Truth to others, when we tightly clutch our hurts, anger and unforgiveness to our chests and refuse to let them go? If the person we needed to reach is still alive, there is still hope and opportunity. Don’t delay! If not, as in King David’s case, we still can do what he said he would do, “I will teach transgressors Your ways; and sinners will turn back to You.” [Psalm 51:13]
This will require total commitment in every facet of our lives, for we must live what we are trying to teach to others. Consequently, dying to self will be our foremost duty, because we cannot see how to help others as long as we are looking through the eyes of our own biases and self-interest. That’s what got us into trouble in the first place!
My prayer: YHVH, please give us hearts of understanding and kindness, so that we will be able to bring Your Truth and Your Comfort to those who are hurting; and if our tongues become careless or wicked, and are about to inflict pain on someone else, we pray that you will strike us instead and spare the one we would have wounded. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing before You, YHVH, my Rock and my Redeemer.” [Psalm 19:14]