Please Help Us Keep These Thousands of Blog Posts Growing and Free for All
Treat Others Fairly
Proverbs 3:27-28 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
27 Do not withhold good from its owners,
when it is in your power to do it.
28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again,
tomorrow I will give it,” when you have it with you.
 Or from those to whom it is due
Do not withhold good: The Hebrew verb (mā·nǎʿ) withhold or hold back (deny, refuse, deprive) means that one refuses to do what is good and right for another person, he or she is causing the other not to possess what is good or right. From its owners means “from those to whom it is due” or “to whom it belongs.” The sense here is a person who needs it. In other words, we should not withhold, hold back, or refuse to do good to a person who is in need.
When it is in your power to do it: The sense of this line is that whenever it is in our power or we have the opportunity to help another, we should not hesitate to do good to the person. Doing good to others encompasses generously using our resources (money, time, energy) in their behalf.
Do not say to your neighbor, “Go and come again …”: This verse is an exhortation to give immediately, gladly, and willingly. Hence, one who truly loves shares things when the help is needed; he does not count the cost so long a time that he never shares anything or if he does share it, it is too little, too late. Your neighbor may be the person living next door, a co-worker, someone we have an interaction with incidentally, or more intimately a friend, or even a relative. Go and come again is part of what we should not say to a person in need; nor should we say tomorrow I will give it.
When you have it with you: It, of course, is referring to the thing that is needed and has been requested or the thing that the neighbor needs. You are the person being addressed here if you are reading these words of wisdom, you should never behave in this way.
Sin is not just what we do that is not in harmony with God’s standards, but also encompasses what we were obligated to do, but failed to do. There are many examples of this, but the principle has an endless number of applications. For example, you might have a wealthy businessperson, who fails to pay his workers a just wage. This writer is aware of a popular business of 45 years in Southeastern, Ohio of the United States that has long paid new workers $20.00 for eight hours of work, when the government minimum mandate is $60.00 for eight hours of work. Another might be a selfish person, who has it within their means to give aid to a person they know to be struggling, who is on the brink of disaster. In addition, it might be a person who owes taxes to the government but fails to pay them. Verse 28 covers those that owe something to another for some labor they carried out, who neglect to pay the person promptly. This is both selfish and hurtful because for these one’s daily living is dependent upon payment.
We live in a world full of imperfect people, run by Satan, and at times our physical or spiritual brothers and sisters, find themselves in distressful need, through no doing of their own. This could have come about by an economic downturn, a natural disaster, a fire, an accident, physical illness, or even persecution. If we know this, it is within our power to help, and we withhold that help, ‘how does the love of God abide in us?’ – 1 John 3:17.