While visiting the local Superstore yesterday, I watched an incident that truly shocked me, yet brought me into a remembrance of a very important truth from the Word of God. Sometimes the smallest things can indeed have a profound impact on us.
I pushed my cart out to my car and as I finished putting the groceries in the trunk. I noticed a woman in a large SUV with three young children doing the same thing two spots down. When finished, I pushed my cart about 30 feet to the nearest cart storage and walked back to my car. All the while, due to it being a Saturday, there were numerous cars lined up waiting for me and the SUV to leave.
I watched in amazement as the woman in the SUV took her empty shopping cart and put it squarely in the empty parking space between us. The cart storage was perhaps 10 feet from her vehicle. She then backed out and went her way not caring that her action irritated and inconvenienced others. I could not believe this person could DO what she did with no remorse.
As if this were not bad enough, what happened next really shocked me. As I looked at the cart just sitting there in the middle of the parking spot, I thought how I should get out and push the cart to the storage thing. Instead of doing that, I backed out and went my way. It wasn’t until later that it really hit me that I had NOT done what I knew was the right thing to do and thereby was wrong also.
The lesson of the shopping cart is that there are two types of sin Jesus gave His life to redeem us from. First there is the obvious sin of commission. This was the person deliberately placing a cart in the middle of an empty parking space. The second was my sin of omission. By my not doing the right thing, I was just as guilty of sin as the person who did the wrong thing.
Sin is not limited to doing what is wrong, but also includes not doing what is right. It is the height of hypocrisy to scold someone for wrong conduct while being guilty of not doing what is right. Far too often this very thing happens among Christians. They are very quick to point an accusing finger at the person who does wrong while not doing what is right themselves.
It is so very easy to miss opportunities where we can be a blessing and manifest the goodness of God. If we are distracted, discouraged, angry or apathetic we become too lazy to care. Never forget that many times it is the little things we do right that have a far greater impact on people then yelling at them for doing wrong. By doing what is right, our action rebukes the sinner while being a witness to the goodness and righteousness of God.