“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).
WHAT IS THE ACTIVITY THAT MAKES YOU THE TIREDEST? I would like to suggest that most of us are made the tiredest not by activity but by the avoidance of activity. We are worn out by the constant pressure of what we don’t do. After all, procrastination is a very hard road to travel — its emotional toll is exceedingly high.
It’s a serious sin to do something that God has said “thou shalt not” do, but it’s also a serious sin to run away from a “thou shalt.” And unfortunately, many of us spend a good part of our lives doing that. We aren’t necessarily rebellious; we’re just a bit lazy. We just don’t get around to obeying God very quickly.
Procrastination is a common failing, and we often joke about it. But if what we’re procrastinating is something we know God expects us to do, that is no laughing matter. We have no guarantee of tomorrow, and the opportunity to complete our obedience may run out sooner than we expect. But in any case, we insult God by postponing His requirements as if they were unimportant.
The simple statement of James is one of the most challenging in the New Testament: “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” When we see there is something God would want us to do, we come under an obligation to do it, and to fail to do it is a sin. I would go even further: to delay to do it is a sin. Yes, it’s a sin that we all commit at times, but that doesn’t make it any less serious. It’s not a thing to giggle about.
Don’t you remember how good you felt the last time you finally did something you had been putting off for a long time? That wonderful feeling of relief came from the lifting of a heavy burden that you had been carrying for a long time. And you probably didn’t realize how tired the avoidance of your duty had been making you until you finally did what was needed and the burden was removed. So think of the duties you’ve been avoiding: they’re a big bag of rocks you’ve been dragging around all this time. Wouldn’t it be nice to do what you should do and not have to drag that burden around any longer? You know it would.
“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an incompleted task” (William James).