When you have the power to do something for someone who deserves it, the Bible tells us to just do it. Help them. Do not withhold good. It sounds like a grand idea, but yet we often fall short. We will tell people maybe later or we will totally dismiss the thought of helping at all. At times, when we say, “Come back tomorrow,” we have no intentions of even seeing the person the next day, thanks to the practice of avoidance.
Note that this passage does not tell you to enable people. Remember that the Bible speaks against enablement. This passage is also not talking about helping people when you do not have the power to help. There are times when you cannot help someone—but thankfully you can always pray for them! It is made clear in this passage that for us to help, we must have the power to help them, and that they must deserve it. Don’t mistake this word “deserve” to mean they are owed something. None of us are deserving. We are all blessed by God.
Today, don’t procrastinate with your giving if you have the power to help others who are in need. Open your hands. If you spend your life clinging to that which was meant to be passed on, you will lose something bigger than what you are clenching.
“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them. If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, ‘Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.’” – Proverbs 3:27-28 [NLT]
There are not as many roundabouts in my area as there are overseas; however, there is one on my daily route and I have noticed some problems. Everything flows nicely when people yield as law states; however, when people refuse to yield, there are a lot of near misses. Unfortunately I see my life flash before my eyes frequently. I have considered why this happens so often. The law states that when people are inside the “circle” of the roundabout, others (outside the circle) must yield to those inside the circle. Every entrance to the circle says “YIELD.” Instead, I see people not even slow down at the “yield” area, and enter into the circle when someone (like me) is right there. Slam on brakes. Near miss. Heart pumping out of chest.
Today there is this greater fight for rights. I deserve the very best. I should have the right to go first. I am ENTITLED. I DESERVE. There is this sense of entitlement that causes people to believe they deserve better treatment than others. They should be first. They should get the right of way. They should get whatever they want. They deserve it. Others need to give way. Others need to give in.
Jesus –God on earth in human form—did not walk with a sense of entitlement. He did not say, “Hey, I’m God so I get to eat the first of this fish and bread.” He did not say, “Hey, I’m God so I do not have to pay this fee” or “Hey, I’m God so I shouldn’t have to climb up this hill.” He also didn’t say, “Hey I’m God so I can disrespect others and jump in line.” He didn’t even say, “Hey I’m God so bow down to me right now.” So why, WHY do we do that? Why do we feel we are entitled? Why?
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” – Philippians 2:5-8 [NIV]