Proverbs 3:27-28

Proverbs 3:27-28 "Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.  Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee."
East Aurora NY Christian Baptist Church
In these verses, Solomon shifts gears and talks to his son about something other than wisdom and its virtuous relatives.  Instead of addressing the virtues of thought, Solomon addresses the virtue of thoughtfulness.  As a prince and as a future king, Rehoboam would see no shortage of “neighbors” looking for help.  Given the frequency in which he would hear a door knock and a request for assistance, the king was instructing his heir to always be thoughtful and to always be considerate.

There would be plenty of people in Rehoboam’s life that would deserve his charity, that would be “due” his good.  There would be plenty of opportunities in Rehoboam’s life where he would have the power to do these neighbors good.  In these cases, Rehoboam was not to be morally lazy and delay his charitable obligation.  People were going to come to the young king out of necessity, probably out of urgency.  Therefore, delaying assistance would be further inconveniencing them in their time of need.  Putting off assistance, when it was in his power, would be inconsiderate.  Putting off assistance, even though he intended to help out of the kindness of his heart, would still be inconsiderate.

In the arena of virtue and morality, time matters.  WHAT we do in life is obviously important but WHEN we do it is just as important.  WHAT we do with people is obviously important but WHEN we do it is equally as important.  In fact, when we do something reveals our true virtue.  If we’re willing to withhold good from someone in need till it’s convenient for us, then we’re revealing the priority we place on our convenience instead of on someone else’s inconvenience.  In the area of virtue and morality, someone else’s inconvenience needs to be more important than our convenience.

While this instruction was very personal from Solomon to his son, we must never forget how personal it is intended to be for us.  God intentionally used Solomon’s relationship with his son to communicate His instruction for us.  In Hebrews 12:5, Paul very clearly informs us that Proverbs is to be read with the understanding that it is God the Father speaking to His children.  Referring to the very chapter in Proverbs that we are discussing, Hebrews 12:5 states, “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord.”  Therefore, let us take heed to the very personal instruction from our Heavenly Father.  We are to be considerate sons and daughters of God.  We are to be considerate priests of the most High God.  We are to be considerate disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are and will be surrounded by people who deserve our good.  We do and will have the power to disperse our good to the people that knock on our doors.  It is our Heavenly Father’s instruction and expectation that we provide that good to those people at that time.  Delayed kindness is a lack of kindness.  Delayed charity is a lack of charity.  Delayed good is a lack of good.  Delayed obedience is disobedience.
 
If your wife needs a hand, don’t put her off until the next commercial or until after the game finishes.
If your wife needs a hug or an embrace, don’t put her off until you get over your bitterness or aggravation.
Is she not deserving of your assistance and is it not in the power of your hand to provide it?

If your husband needs a hand, don’t put him off until you’re in the mood or until he meets your needs.
If your husband needs a word of encouragement, don’t put him off until it’s convenient or even easy for you.
Is he not deserving of your assistance and is it not in the power of your hand to provide it?

If your son needs guidance with the challenges of life, don’t put him off until you finish your household duties.
If your daughter needs some attention because of the insecurities of her soul, don’t put her off until you get all of your shopping done.
If your child needs some forgiveness, don’t put that off until you get the apology you want.
If your kid needs some discipline, don’t put that off until you get the sleep or rest you want.
Are they not deserving of your assistance and is it not in the power of your hand to provide it?

If someone asked you a question for planning purposes or for problem solving, don’t put sharing that answer off until it’s convenient for you.  If you have the answer, text it.  If you have the answer, email it.  If you have the answer, share it.  Failure to provide that answer in a timely fashion is moral laziness and very inconsiderate.  If you don’t know the answer, make it a priority to find that answer so as to be of assistance to a person in need of answers.
 
There will be people that we can’t help because there will be times when we don’t have the power to help.  In these cases, we have no moral obligation to help where we cannot help.  But in most situations on most days, we have the power to help our neighbors and when we do, we must make that a priority.  The inconvenience of our neighbors should take precedent over our convenience.  In God’s eyes, DOING good is more important than intending on doing good.
 
This human tendency to be morally lazy and selfish displeases our Heavenly Father because is not His tendency.  Psalms 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very PRESENT help in trouble.”  Making someone wait for our help until tomorrow when they need it today is inconsiderate of their trouble.  Let us listen to the counsel of our Heavenly Father and let us follow His expeditious example.  Let us embrace the virtues of thought and let us not ignore the virtue of THOUGHTFULNESS.     

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