Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbour, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you” – when you already have it with you. Proverbs 3:27-28 (NIV)
The question was asked in Luke 10:29, “…who is my neighbour?” The answer: anyone who is in need. We can talk about doctrine, theology and what we believe, but if our theology and beliefs do not have a direct impact upon how we live and relate to others then all our talk is empty. John phrased it:
If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:17-18 (NIVUK)
Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? James 2:15-16 (NIV)
If God had withheld good from us, where would we be?
A man fell into a pit and couldn’t get himself out. People began to gather around and discuss the man, the pit and his predicament.
One subjective person yelled down to him, “I feel for you down there.”
An objective person stated the obvious: “It’s logical that someone would fall down there.”
A Pharisee scoffed, “Only bad people fall into pits.”
A mathematician calculated how deep the pit was.
A news reporter wanted the exclusive story on the pit.
One self-centred person sobbed, “You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen my pit.”
A fundamentalist screamed, “You deserve your pit.”
A psychologist noted, “Your mother and father are to blame for your being in that pit.”
An evasive person came along and avoided the subject of pits all together.
Then finally a man stepped from the crowd and walked to the pit, saying, “I also have been in the pit,” and offering his hand, he pulled him out.
God’s Word tells us:
He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. Psalm 40:2 (NLT)
Can we offer our hand to help someone today? It has been said, the smallest deed is better than the greatest intention.