Sins of Omission
First a little context. This chapter overall is about the differences between worldly and Godly wisdom. James asks the question are you focusing on your own success without acknowledging your need for God.
Seemingly out of nowhere comes our main text. James makes this challenging statement. Sinning is part of our human nature. From our mother’s womb, we are born as sinful creatures but become new creatures in Christ. James points out that we can still sin even as new creatures. The obvious SIN of course is sins of Commission, that is the willful act of sinning. Doing something we know is against the will and word of God.
The other often ignored and overlooked SIN is that of Omission. There are two types of these sins. One we commit when we don’t even realize we did something wrong (maybe said something that offended someone and they did not acknowledge it) and the other when we should have acted rightly but failed to take action.
It is about this, second manner of sin, that James is speaking. A clear biblical example would be the parable of the Good Samaritan Luke 10:30-37 the two men that passed by and did nothing to help committed sins of omission.
What good deeds have you let pass by in your life?
Heavenly Father, thank You for this truth in the book of James, that when I know what is righteous.. and yet do not do it, I am committing a sin in Your eyes. Forgive me for the times when I have done things that are wrong and avoided doing what is right, or turned a blind eye to some need or necessity. Thank You that in Christ I have all that I need to live righteously, in this troubled world, and from this day forward I pray that I would not only know what is right, but be ready and willing to carry it out, through Your sufficient strength, and for Your greater glory, this I ask in Jesus name AMEN. Source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/James/4/17