Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”— when you already have it with you. (Proverb 3:27-28)
Does anyone else struggle with this command? I certainly have. Over the years, I’ve frequently been made aware of needs but let the moments pass. I often want to take time to think about it and make a decision later. Sadly, most of the time “deciding to decide later” is the only decision I make. My wallet remains closed – as does my heart.
That, I believe, is the point of the Proverb above. God wants our hearts open to Him so that our hands will be open to others at all times! A closed heart will inevitably be associated with closed hands and wallets. But throughout Scripture we read that the Lord loves “immediacy.” He desires us to have human hearts with receptive ears – always listening and ready to act immediately.
A quick review of Jesus calling His disciples to follow Him reveals the responsive hearts which Christ desires. When He called Peter and Andrew, we read, “Immediately they left their nets and followed Him” (Matthew 4:20). Likewise, James and John “Immediately…left the boat and their father and followed Him” (v.22). Jesus would use them greatly by making them “fishers of men.”
Friends, Jesus still wants to use His followers in great ways. But He will have trouble making us fishers of men if we’re unwilling to fish a dollar from our pockets for someone in need. The command above isn’t just for the benefit of the recipient – it’s for the giver’s good as well. A heart that gives on the spot is a trusting heart. And a trusting heart is the only type Christ can use in big ways. –Dave
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