I’m not sure where to put this, so it’s going under “General Theology”…
I’ve heard it said a number of times how we should repent not only for our “sins of commission” but also for “sins of omission.” The first time I heard it, I thought it was an interesting idea. But the more I’ve thought about it, it just doesn’t sit right with me. I think I can put it down to 2 things:
It leads people to constantly be in a state of, “I’m not doing enough!” and they beat themselves up over it, continually believing that they are “not good enough” or, even worse, that God hates them for missing opportunities. To me, this is not humility, it’s a denial of who we are in Christ.
What some people call “sins of omission” are actually “sins of commission.” Take the example of choosing not to evangelise when the opportunity arises: if we see the opportunity, then it is a deliberate act of not taking it. (Some people say that when we recognise the opportunity, it is God nudging us to evangelise… in which case not taking it is an act of disobedience.) However, if the opportunity passes and a while later we realise it… I don’t think that counts. Perhaps God shields us from these things sometimes because the situation is not right. So I would argue that a deliberate missed opportunity is actually a “sin of commission” (because it’s disobedience)… and for that we need to repent.
What do you think?