Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.–Proverbs 3:27 NLT
And God will generously provide… everything you need… and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.—2 Corinthians 9:8-10 NLT
The context of this verse is the Lord’s provision and protection: “You need not be afraid of sudden disaster, or the destruction that comes on the wicked, for the Lord is your security,” vv.25-25. Therefore we, who rely on the Lord, are positioned to do good to others, out of the security we have.
In the last recession a number of banks got into difficulties (some are no longer with us) and measures were introduced to ‘stress test’ financial institutions to ensure that they had enough resilience as lenders to be able to give us our money back in tough conditions.
Can we give, when all the instincts are to hoard? Can we behave unselfishly, even generously to others, when what we ourselves need is under threat?
We have seen this test worked out at supermarket checkouts — some being measured in what they load up, others perhaps influenced by poor choices in their information depriving others by bulk buying for themselves, creating the very shortage that they fear so much.
The moral question is about who we really care about, and who are we prepared to exclude. Does it matter if someone else can’t bake, or has no stock of paracetamol if symptoms arise? Does it matter if others lose their jobs and can’t make ends meet? Do we rationalise what is in our power to do for others, or find ways to stand together with those who need non-judgmental help?
This present pandemic, which seems to go on and on, is like a test of what we really believe and where our values lie — either in self-protection or, trusting God for our needs and safety, in generosity to others.
• Ask the Lord to show you this week someone whose need He is leading you to meet — and the faith to go with it.