God’s call is for you and me to help those whom he lays on our hearts. And pity the fool who decides he knows better than God who is due our goodness today. In fact, James informs us that if I don’t do the good I know I ought to do, that’s a sin of omission…
27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.
17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
My eyes focused right in on the words, ‘to whom it is due,’ knowing that our stumbling block will be there. Why? Because that’s our point of leverage in our desire to disobey God and do things our own way. Think about it. I won’t withhold good from anyone to whom it is due.
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Right? If I am the one determining who is worthy then I don’t have a problem.
Remove head from bum and keep reading…
James’ teaching is so practical that it often dovetails with the Proverbs. If we want the straight goods on how to live, James is our man. And James calls it sin when we know what to do and don’t do it.
Wait, it gets better. If you read James 4, he is talking in these verses about how we become arrogant in our lives and think we can be the masters of our destinies (I can do this and I can do that). His advice is to stop that sillytalk and start saying, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, I will do this or that.’
In other words, it’s the Lord who decides what we do and where we go. If we are living in Christ, we have to seek the Lord’s will and follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Which brings us back to whom it is due…
Am I able to help someone and is God laying it on my heart? If so, it is due that person. It has become my responsibility. In fact, if I don’t do it, it is sin for me.
Now I want to be careful to not interpret this to mean that I should sell everything and give it all away – I recently read Luke 5, in which Jesus healed many people, yet still moved on to the next town even though there were more to heal. We truly cannot help everyone. I don’t think that is God’s demand on our lives.
God’s call is for you and me to help those to whom it is due based on his voice in our lives. And pity the fool who decides he knows better than God whom is due our goodness today…