Our theme for this month: “Take care of each other”
Our Bible verse for today: “Anyone then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” James 4:17 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Err on the side of blessing.”
So, when it comes to taking care of each other, when should you help someone and when should you not? Is it always the right thing to do stuff for others? All the time? Always? Or, perhaps, is a little discretion and sound judgment needed as well?
In James 4:17 quoted above, the Apostle tells us that if we know we should do something good for someone and we don’t, we have sinned. However, that statement implies sound knowledge on our part. It does not say that we should help everyone, always, all the time. It means that we should evaluate the situation, determine if we should and can help this person, and if the answer is “yes” but we still don’t, that then is sin.
In Proverbs 3:27 Solomon said something similar when he wrote, “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.” Please note the conditional and modifying word “deserve” in that statement. Not everyone deserves to be helped. Sometimes the issue they’re dealing with is a result of their own irresponsible behavior and therefore they need to experience the consequences of their poor choices in order to learn an important lesson that will lead to better choices in the future. The Apostle Paul was very direct about this as well in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 when he wrote, “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”
As faithful followers of the Lord Jesus Christ we have a desire to be kind, compassionate, merciful, and to be a blessing to others, so our default mode should be to err on the side of blessings. We should be looking for reasons to help and bless people, not to withhold blessings and help. But we do need to be smart about it too. We need to be sure our help is actually helping and not simply enabling bad behavior. We always want to help and bless if we can. But sometimes the right thing to do is to withhold the help and allow them to experience the consequences of bad choices.
When it comes to taking care of others, if there is any doubt in your mind, I encourage you to err on the side of blessings. Help if you can – and if it is appropriate to the situation.