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Plausible Deniability

Anyone, then, who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, commits sin. James 4:17 NRSV

We've probably all heard the term plausible deniability, the notion that accountability for actions and responsibilities can be denied based on the lack of knowledge. In the last few years, it has become a popular ploy by government officials and agencies to cast doubt on their involvement in questionable activities. It doesn't mean they're innocent, but it only calls into question their ignorance.

I've mentioned before my love of the book of James. His delivery is as subtle as using a twenty-pound sledge to drive a ten-penny nail. To James, there is no plausible deniability. If you possess the wherewithal to deny something, you exhibit knowledge.

Once we know what is right and willingly choose to do the opposite, it is sin. There is no claiming ignorance. That awareness includes our initial decision to follow Jesus and everything we do afterward. Our learning to live as a people set apart in our continual desire to do what is right in God's eyes.

How do we know what is right? There are a few things we can do. First, read and study the Bible to understand what righteousness means. Secondly, pray for guidance and discernment. Finally, if we still lack clarity, seek counsel from our siblings in Christ. Knowing then what is right, do it!

Gracious Father, thank you for the righteous example of Jesus Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Grant us the courage and strength to do what is right. Help us be quick to speak out against injustice and to show kindness and mercy. May all our actions be right in your eyes. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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