“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” ~James 4:17
Sleepless nights, unsettled spirit, or even anxiety that is troubling your soul. These could all be symptoms of the “shouda, coulda, woulda” syndrome. That hind sight that haunts us because of missed opportunities. Or maybe there’s still time to make things right and the Spirit of God is weighing on our hearts something that we know we should do but there is something in the way.
There’s a few reasons why we might be apprehensive in taking that next step, the 4th chapter of James uncovers some of them.
Nearsighted or focused on ourselves, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures”, vs 3. We tend to put our own desires ahead of others and think that satisfying the flesh will bring contentment.
Being distracted by worldly living, “Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” 4:4b. I tried other translations to see if there was a softer word for “enemy” but they’re all the same. This is Peter’s version of denying Jesus and warming himself by the fire in John 18. “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”. Fortunately there’s hope,
“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:
God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble” .
Judge mentalism, the attitude that questions another’s motives or criticizes decisions when not sinful. I always ask myself before I judge someone, “is it sinful or just annoying”?
Finally to make plans and later find out that because you were not flexible to change and forgo God’s plan. Sometimes if we’re not sensitive to the Spirit’s leading we end up regretting where we’ve ended up.
So, you see, it may not be what we did was wrong but rather what we didn’t do that becomes sin. No matter how far you’ve roamed don’t be haunted by the “shoulda, coulda, wouldas”. Instead draw near to God with a humble spirit and a willingness to turn around.
David writes in Psalm 51:17,
“The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” NLT Amen!
Written by Rob Russomano, Colony of Mercy Graduate and Full-time Staff Member
Think About This: “Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.” ~Jonathan Edwards
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint ~Isaiah 40:31