Do not withhold good from those to whom
it is due, when it is in your power to do it.
John the Baptist said, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.”
Whenever Christmas rolls around (yes, I know, it’s 6 months away!), there appears a plethera of opportunities to do good. From Salvation Army Red Kettle drives, to Feed the Children, to Toys for Tots, to any number of local social agency drives (CAM, Helping Hands, Teen Life Center, just to name a few), opportunities to do good abound. Peoples’ purse strings and hearts open up. Blessings and charity abound together with the opportunities.
These verses, however, suggest that such an open purse-string and open-heart policy ought to be in play constantly; we are to do good when it is in our power, not just when we see touching human-interest stories, or bell-ringers at the local Walmart.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 9 that we will be made rich so that we may be generous on every occasion, with the ultimate result that God is praised. That adds one more facet to our do-gooding: we are to do it so that God receives the credit and the praise. That’s quite a challenge. But it is also alway appropriate to honor God, for he is the original good-doer. When it was within Jesus’ power to forego doing good, he took the cross, and brought the fullness of God’s grace to bear on us for our eternal well-being.