By Christopher Simon
We Know the Good We Ought to Do
“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” ~ James 4:17 NIV
Most of the time when we sin we are fully aware that we are doing so. We know what we ought to do but our selfish sinful nature leads us astray.We rationalize our sins by telling ourselves that no one is being hurt, or that no one will know, or that everyone acts this way.
Driving over the speed limit is a good example of this.When we drive over the speed limit, we are usually aware of the fact and rationalize our bad driving behavior by telling ourselves we really aren’t hurting anyone (even though we know the speed limit is set for reasons of public safety). Or we might tell ourselves that no one is going to catch us doing this, and everyone else seems to be going over the speed limit too.
One who rationalizes these small or “venial” sins will probably find it easy to rationalize larger and more serious sins as well.
We know the good we ought to do,we just don’t want to do it. We should all make a more serious effort to do the right thing, all the time, and without rationalizing our lapses into sin.