Do Not Withhold Good
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to do it.
Do not say to your neighbor,
“Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,”
when you have it with you.”
I remember shortly after I gave my life to Jesus, I was grocery shopping not far from our new home in Tacoma. It was kind of overwhelming for me to go out and about with a one and a half year old, because I was unfamiliar with my surroundings and I had never lived in a city so big. I was shocked by the amount of homeless people I saw.
While I was shopping I noticed that bagels were on sale, so I put two in the cart, but at the last second decided to grab a third. I continued with my shopping and then headed to the checkout and out to the car to load up. Things were going smoothly and I was able to get out quickly which was good since I had my son with me.
As I began to pull out of the parking lot, I noticed a woman with a sign. I don’t remember what it said specifically, but it made reference to the fact that she was hungry. This was an area where Jesus had been really working on me. My husband and I had been discussing it in our Sunday morning adult Bible study class and I found it interesting that so many Christians were opposed to helping those on the streets. They felt that they were being taken advantage of by people who could get jobs, but were simply too lazy to work.
I decided that this woman might be doing the same and I passed her by. I didn’t feel bad about it at all… until I stopped at the end of the block for the red light. As I sat there, the Holy Spirit began speaking to me ever so softly to go back, to not deny her. In my heart I loudly answered back, “No!”, and that began a battle between my flesh and God’s Spirit that I will never forget.
Have you ever made a decision to not help someone even though you had the means to help them? How did you feel about it? How do you decide to help some and maybe not others? These are questions I think we all struggle with at one time or another.
Inspired to Cherish
Today let’s take time to write out Matthew 25:34-40.
As I struggled against the Holy Spirit that day, I drove around the block of the grocery store, not able to go home. By the time I came back around to where the woman was standing, I was in tears. I somewhat begrudgingly parked my car and went to the back to open the hatch where the groceries were. There on top of one of the bags of groceries was that extra bag of bagels I had purchased – I knew it was for her.
As I approached her I waited while someone else was talking with her, however, he did not give her anything. Then her gaze turned to me and I reluctantly handed her the bag. I was humbled even further when she quickly took the bag from me, ripped it open and shoved a bagel into her mouth! She was so hungry and so grateful! She could not stop telling me, “God bless you! I am starving!” and I could not stop crying in shame. I still cry while typing this now, twenty years later.
Thank you again for joining me for September Devotion. I truly love spending this time with you each morning. I have my own personal journal and am doing September Devotion right along with you. I hope it is as much of a blessing to you as it is to me. 🙂
You can find the other days to this devotional here: September 1, September 2, September 3, September 4, September 5, September 6, September 7, September 8, September 9, September 10, September 11, September 12, September 13, September 14, September 15, September 16, September 17, September 18, September 19, September 20, September 21, September 22, and September 23.