One of the great challenges of the bible is to do good. But that leads to the next question - how much good, and to or for whom?
Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it's in your power to help them.
This little verse in Proverbs is loaded with challenge but helps us to form a great habit in our lives:
- The bible doesn't assume we can always help a person - sometimes we do not have the power to help or do good. But often we do have power to help...
- God knows we like to judge at times. This verse protects us from reacting with emotion or hurt or unforgiveness causing us to withhold help based on our own bias.
- The question is what qualifies a person to receive help? Do they deserve it? If they need help, then they are in need. Help here implies they have need.
- It can help to remember our own lives - did we deserve good? Did we receive help when we did not deserve it? Have our needs been met?
- And if those questions are too hard to answer, then the opportunity to do good still remains if we have the power to help them.
- It can help to remember that the power we have is not our own - we are but stewards of whatever power God has given us - so use it for good.
- Offering help to a person implies there is a need. Very often, God uses his people to do good with His things to help people He brings across our paths.
In other words, whenever you have power, you should use it help a person - not withholding the good you can give through your power. Afterall, if we trust God, we are actually His agents at work in the world that needs help - and God is able to bring people across our paths who we can help.
So keep the great habit of doing good, helping those who deserve it when you have power to do so.