Do not withhold good from those who deserve it,
when it is in your power to act.
Proverbs 3:27 from New International Version (NIV)
- surface – it can be the justification for “helping” everyone “in need” that one comes across, even at the detriment of yourself.
- deeper – an understanding that we cannot help people unless we are strong enough to give. This might reduce what you have, or it might not, but understanding that this is not a verse calling for you to give *all*, even your own life where you will then be dependent on others to survive.
In other translations, and the following verses, it makes it clear this is talking about say you have borrowed a tool from your neighbor and he asks for it back, give it to him, don’t make him wait. Also, don’t assume a perceived need, like just because someone does not have health insurance, that they *need* or, a step farther in this verse, *deserve* it.
Also, understand, the power to act is basically saying that you can … sometimes we desire to help someone, we want to donate money to a cause, we want to volunteer for a great cause, and from one viewpoint we have the power to act, yet in another view point … we could damage our ability to act on other cases that are more important that we act on.
Part of the Proverbs Challenge series