Proverbs – News From The Source – Part 19
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,” When you have it with you.” Proverbs 3:27-28
From the time I was old enough to realize that there were people in the world who were no as fortunate as I was living in a home with two parents who were Christians and brought us up believing in God and following Jesus Christ in the way we lived, I have always thought it od that so many people who were so richly blessed seem to be the ones least ready to reach out and lend a hand to some one in need. There were folks in our church, for example, who were wore their wealth and displayed it in all the usual trappings of the rich, but they were not the ones visiting the sick in the hospital, or taking food to the family in grief, they were too busy, I guess, to care about the “little people” but, they were always available to receive accolades and rewards for the slightest public gift they made to a local charity.
Now I am no one’s judge. Only God knows the heart of every person. But, I am grateful that my mom and dad, and most of the people who lived in our neighborhood, and most of those we knew in our church, were loving, caring compassionate people. We didn’t have a lot but my dad and mom would often share what we did have with those we knew were in need and they taught us to do the same. And the thing that stood out to me was they were so matter of fact about it that we thought that’s the way everyone lived. But, I found out the hard way that many, if not most, are reluctant to give at all, and too many who do give make it burdensomely difficult for the recipients to receive the smallest handout.
Sadly, large institutions including some churches can be notorious for the complications, restrictions and demands they put on their giving to the needs of the poor.
But, this is not what Jesus did and modeled for the disciples. He was guided by compassion, so much so, that when He saw a need He met it, simply, directly, without fanfare or demands on the poor, the weak and the needed of all kinds.
It was common among many in the days of Solomon as it is still today, to hold the poor in disdain and to deal with them harshly as though they are unworthy of care, compassion and of charity. So, if they ask for bread, tell them to go away and come back tomorrow and maybe they might get a begrudging morsel.
Notwithstanding, they have more than enough to share of their surplus that would be a miracle answer to prayer to the destitute and weary from life’s hardships. So, wisdom cries to the heart of the rich and the ordinary to do what they can whenever they can to whomever they can with a simple and direct response not adding to the humiliation of the one seeking help.
Those who have the gift of givingare characterized by a heart of compassion and a desire to meet every need beyond just what is asked, but to imitate God as cheerful givers who give without complications or unnecessary delays.
“Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.” Romans 12:8
We are all familiar with the admonition of 2 Corinthians 9:7.
“So let each one giveas he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7 KJV
The Amplified bible translation reveals a deeper understanding of this passage.
“Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving].AMP
“Cheerful, joyous, prompt to do it giver” expresses both the motive and the method of giving that God loves. The motive, cheerful and joyous. The method, prompt to do it.
Those who give in this way are essential to God’s kingdom coming on the earth. They are the miracle workers among us, and because of their generosity, they inspire worship and prompt many thanksgivings to God. [2 Corinthians 9:12]
If you are asked to give and if you have the ability to do so, and if in your heart you decide you will, then do it simply and quickly. Don’t delay. And you will receive also quickly, cheerfully and joyously, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will men give into your bosom. [Luke 6:38]