ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach has a very good and challenging Lent message, focused on the theme of sins of neglect, sins of omission. As you read it, prayerfully take some time for self-examination. Here’s a key excerpt:
This year as you prayerfully examine your own life during Lent, I want to encourage you to look for your sins of neglect. What are your sins of omission? “What is God asking me to do which I am refusing to do?”
Am I neglecting my time alone with God?
Am I neglecting feeding the poor?
Am I neglecting speaking out against evil?
Am I neglecting teaching my children about my faith in Jesus?
Am I neglecting taking care of my body?
Am I neglecting praying for and loving my enemies?
Am I neglecting returning to the Lord His portion of my earnings?
Am I neglecting caring for those in pain around me?
Am I neglecting time with my spouse?
The list could go on and on. You get the point: What are my sins of neglect of which I need to repent?
In trying to deal with my sins of neglect, I have noticed two issues which seem to arise. Firstly, to repent of these sins costs me time. They usually take time to accomplish, which means that if I am going to follow God’s leading and repent, then I am going to have to stop doing something that I am currently doing in order to make time for it. To minister to the needy means I have to give up time doing something else. To spend more time studying the Scriptures means I am going to have to give up time doing something else.
Secondly, I have noticed that, more often than not, I am blinded to my sins of neglect. It takes someone else, a sermon, the Scriptures, a book, or a friend to point them out to me. I am afraid this is a pattern for most of us. We don’t think we have an issue, and then the Holy Spirit convicts us and brings it to our attention. Because they are usually blind spots, this means we are used to living with them; they are comfortable in our lives. To repent will make us uneasy and it is often difficult! We have to be intentional, and oftentimes, we need someone to hold us accountable.