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Examine Scripture

James 4:17

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The Right Thing to Do….

Knowing the right thing to do and actually doing it are two very different things:

So for one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, it is a sin. -James 4:17, NAB

Today’s verse is rather straightforward – if you know the right thing to do, but choose not to do it, it is a sin.  Specifically, when we know that we are supposed to put God first in our lives, but choose the world instead, it is sinful.

Not doing the right thing is willful disobedience.  We are not making a mistake out of ignorance.  We know better.  We simply take the easy path, or the path that satisfies our will – not God’s.

Example:  All Saints Day is in a week (November 1st).  It is a Holy Day of Obligation, which means that we are required to go to Mass.  Yes, required – just like Sundays.  Now that I have told you, you cannot claim that you didn’t know any better.

If you choose not to go to Mass on All Saints Day, you are being willfully disobedient.  You know the right thing to do, but you are choosing not to do it.  It is a sin and may require you to go to confession.

Already, I know that some are coming up with a thousand reasons why they can’t go.  Some of them may be valid – such as work commitments.  If you have a question about it, speak to your local priest, and he can guide you.

There are many other ways that we can be willfully disobedient.  Any time we know the right thing to do and choose not to do it, we must be ready to face the consequences that come from it.  What’s easier then?  Doing the wrong thing and dealing with the consequences, or just doing the right thing in the first place?  What will you choose to do?

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