The Greatest Sin of Omission

“How can I get life to give me maximum happiness?” asked the student to his teacher.milking-a-cow-965913-m

“Your question reminds me of the farmer who owned a cow,” was the reply. “Someone once asked him, ‘How much milk does your cow give?’ To which the farmer replied, ‘She doesn’t give any, you have to take it from her.’”1

In Galatians 2:20, Paul spoke of  “the life I now live in the flesh,” a life of dedication to Christ and for the benefit of others.

The late Bishop John H. Vincent had the custom of repeating to himself each morning the following simple, but far-reaching solution, concerning living one day at a time.

He would say, “I will this day try to live a simple, sincere, and serene life; repelling promptly every thought of discontent, impurity and self-seeking; cultivating cheerfulness, magnanimity, charity, and the habit of holy silence; exercising economy in expenditures, carefulness in conversation, diligence in appointed service, fidelity to every trust, and a childlike faith in God.”2

‘She doesn’t give any, you have to take it from her.’It has been wisely advised, “Don’t let life happen to you. Let life happen through you.”3 

The poet has written:

“We live in deeds, not years; In thoughts, not breaths;
In feelings, not in figures on a dial; We should count time by heart-throbs.
He most lives who Thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.”4

“We often refer to two types of sin: sin of commission – what we do – and sins of omission – what we fail to do. Perhaps the greatest sin of omission is our failure to properly appreciate the gift of life” (James P. Gills, M.D.)5

© 2015  D & L Publications, All rights reserved.


    1. Morris Mandel, A Complete Treasury of Stories for Public Speakers, Jonathan David Publishers, Middle Village, NY, 11379, Copyright 1974, p. 125.
    2. Walter B. Knight, Knight’s Master Book of New Illustrations, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI, Copyright 1956, p. 684.
    3. Pulpit Helps, December 1997.
    4. James P. Wesberry, When Hell Trembles, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, Copyright 1974, p. 104.
    5. James P. Gills, M.D., Exceeding Gratitude for the Creator’s Plan, Creation House, Lake Mary, FL, Copyright 2007, p. 12.