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An Outline for Repentance (Part 2): Sins of Omission

repentance-sins-of-commission

In the past two posts, we saw how vital it is that we repent of our sins. Today we begin the first step toward repentance—reflecting on our lives with prayerful self-examination, looking back over our past history and considering our actions and motives. (If you missed Part One of this post, I encourage you to read it before proceeding.)

Our sins were committed one by one. And as much as possible, we should review them and repent of them one by one.

Below is a list of ten sins of omission. Pray over the list, ask God to show you if you have committed any of these sins, and listen with an honest, open heart.

When a sin you’ve committed comes to memory, write it down. Make a note of it somehow—in your prayer journal, Bible app, or whatever device you use to notate how God is speaking to you.

Be sure to name your sin to God specifically. For example, “Father, I’ve neglected your Word,” or, “I’m guilty of the sin of prayerlessness.”

Don’t make any excuses for the sins you’ve committed.

“The one who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13, HCSB).

Search Me, O God

“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
    and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
Psalm 139:23-24, NLT

Before you read through the sins of omission below, pause and pray Psalm 139:23-24. Ask God to search your heart and point out anything that offends Him. The wording in The Message is excellent for a prayer:

“Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong— then guide me on the road to eternal life” (Psalm 139:23-24, MSG)

“Investigate my life, God. Search me and find out everything about me. Cross-examine me. Get a clear picture of what I’m about. See whether I’ve done anything wrong. Then show me! Point out to me my actions and motives that offend you. Show me what I’ve done wrong. Give me a clear picture of what I’m about … so that I might repent. Then faithful Father, help me change. Break the power of these sins in my life. Apply the cleansing, chain-breaking blood of Jesus to them. Help me hate what you hate and love what you love. And guide me on the road to eternal life.”

Sins of Omission

A sin of omission is not doing something you should have, not doing something God’s Word teaches you should have done.

“Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17, NASB).

Sins of omission include:

1. Ingratitude (Unthankfulness). Have you received blessings from God for which you did not give thanks? Have you thanked God in all things, no matter the circumstance, because He is good and loving and merciful and faithful? Ephesians 5:20 says, “And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (NLT).

2. Lack of love for God. God calls Himself a jealous God. (Ex. 20:5, 34:14; Deut. 4:24; 5:9, 6:15; Josh. 24:19, etc). When we give our heart and affection to another love, to an idol that we elevate in His place, it offends Him.

3. Failing to read and study the Bible regularly. Job said, “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily food.” (Job 23:12, HCSB). If you were in a court of law charged with neglecting to read your Bible, would the dust on your Bible testify against you? What about the history on your Bible app—would the date it was last opened testify against you?

Write down the times where for weeks or longer, God’s Word was not a pleasure to you. Or perhaps you’ve read your Bible, but you read too large a volume and read it in such a prayerless, non-meditative rush that afterward, you had no idea what you had just read. You certainly had no idea what God was trying to say to you through it.

4. Prayerlessness: Prayerlessness is a sin. 1 Samuel 12:23 says, “As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you” (NIV).

When have you neglected private prayer? When have you neglected group prayer meetings? Have you neglected to have family prayer in your home? When have you prayed in a way that offended God as much as if you had not prayed at all?

5. Unbelief. When have you doubted God’s character? When have you not believed He would do what He promised? Unbelief calls God a liar. There is no sin you can commit that humiliates and infuriates the nature of God like unbelief. There is no sin as hideous as procrastination when it is time to actively believe God.

Perhaps you’re guilty of blatant, overt unbelief. But we also disguise our unbelief as “humility” or “realism.” In Numbers 13, the Israelite spies returned saying the land was full of giants and walled-up cities. They claimed they were grasshoppers compared to the people in the promised land. They didn’t accuse God directly. They never said, “God isn’t able.” Instead, they focused on themselves, saying, “We’re not able…” But it wasn’t humility.  It was not innocent, harmless talk. They were calling God a liar and accusing Him of being inadequate.

Are you disguising your unbelief as humility or realism?

According to Hebrews 3, the sin that kept the Israelites out of the promised land was not the sin of drunkenness, lust, adultery, or idolatry. It was the sin of unbelief.

Unbelief is at the root of almost every other sin we commit. Carefully pray over this sin and let God expose any hidden areas of unbelief in your life.

6. Neglect of fellowship. Hebrews 10:25 says, “Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near” (TLB). When have you made excuses as to why you could not attend church? When have you failed to go to church because you were offended by someone there, or didn’t like the worship style, or something there failed to meet your satisfaction?

7. Failing to help another person. When have you felt a nudging from God to help someone but you didn’t do it? “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them” (James 4:17, NIV).

8. Lack of love for souls. Have you failed to share the Good News of the Gospel with others? “So wherever you go in the world, tell everyone the Good News.” (Mark 16:15, GW). Has your life not displayed Jesus to those who don’t know Him? Are you so void of love and concern for the lost that you don’t intercede for those around you who don’t know Jesus?

9. Failing to provide for and take care of your family. Have you failed to provide for your family financially? What kind of spiritual example have you been to them?

Are you neglecting the spiritual needs of your children? Do you drop them off at church or do you attend church with them, setting an example? Have you set such an example in your home that your children would they say without hesitation that as for you and your house, you serve the Lord?

Do you honor your elderly father and mother by meeting their needs, giving them your time, money, effort, love, and care?

Have you failed in any way to provide for your family—whether spiritually, emotionally, physically, or financially?

10. Failing to deny yourself. Will you do almost anything for the sake of Christ… except those things that require self-denial? Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23, ESV).

Are you willing to give up your reputation for Christ? Are you willing to deny yourself your material possessions, your agenda, your plans, your comfort so that others will be spared a life of eternal separation from God? Do you only give from your surplus, such that what you give does not cost you any discomfort? Are there areas in which you insist on having your own way, not God’s? “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23, NLT)

Confess and Ask Forgiveness

If you’re like me, there was not a sin on that list about which God did not convict you. As God brought to mind times you have committed these sins, did you:

  • Write them down?
  • Name each specifically?
  • Allow God to give you His sorrow over the sin? Allowing Him to help you love what He loves and hate what He hates?
  • Ask God to forgive you? And accept His forgiveness?
  • Resolve to change, asking God to free you from the power of the sin habit?

“Repent, and turn from all your transgressions,
so that iniquity will not be your ruin.”
Ezekiel 18:30, NKJV

Question:

  • What sins were you surprised by when God brought them to your memory? What sins had you not realized (or fully admitted to yourself) you had committed?
  • What sins were you tempted to justify and excuse? What sins were the hardest to admit and desire to change?
  • What sins grieved you the most when you saw them as God sees them?
  • Did you write them down and name them specifically? Did you ask God to forgive you and accept His forgiveness?

 

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2 Responses to “An Outline for Repentance (Part 2): Sins of Omission”

  1. Tapiwa says:

    Thank you so much l believe this is my message both part 1 and 2, when the inspiration to write about this was given it had me in mind

  2. Sandra says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for these tools. I wanted to search my heart and repent of my selfishness but felt foggy in knowing what is conviction from Holy Spirit and what is condemnation from the devil. This outline helped make it so clear for me, thank you so much for obeying Gods calling!!

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