Journey in the Word

Karen Ingrid Clark

Walking in Wisdom – Wisdom in Temptation

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Week Five – Day 5.  Friday, February 17, 2017

FRIDAY – THE TEMPTATION TO WITHHOLD GOOD wk05d05

Read Proverbs 3:27-35 SOAP Proverbs 3:27

PROVERBS 3:27-35 27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you. 29 Do not plan evil against your neighbor, who dwells trustingly beside you. 30 Do not contend with a man for no reason, when he has done you no harm. 31 Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways, 32 for the devious person is an abomination to the Lord, but the upright are in his confidence. 33 The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous. 34 Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor. 35 The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace.

O/A – When I first read this passage, I was thinking “money”, “good deeds” and material blessings. Then I read the blog posting and was convicted. “When we withhold good from people, we withhold God from them.” What “good” do I withhold from others? What is this talking about?? So I looked up the cross references.

Galatians 6:10 (ESV) – 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

1 John 3:17-18 (ESV) – 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

So – what does this mean? While this verse may be talking about what we “owe” to people – our debts. (especially looking at the next verse….), I think it gives us food for thought in giving “good” to others – when it “is in (our) power to do it.” There are plenty of times that we CAN give to others, but choose not to. And – it goes beyond material things.

The cross references give me principles to follow. First, to do good “as we have opportunity.” To have my eyes open to needs around me. To NOT have blinders on. To notice. Second, to do good to “everyone.” To those around me, whether I am “friends” or not, like them or not. To those around me. BUT – especially to those who are of the “household of faith.” Am I doing good to my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? Third, if I have the ability, and choose NOT to do good to someone in need, am I showing Christ’s love? Last, love is not just words – it is action. It is not just thinking about helping, but doing it! It is not putting it off, but doing good when God puts it in our mind. To love in DEED and in TRUTH.

Lately, I’ve been praying that God would open my eyes to those around me. To see needs, whether it is someone who is hurting, or someone that I could encourage, or even meet neighbors on my walks. Not to escape into my own world, but seeing, really seeing, those around me.

I was convicted of this a number of years ago, when I was walking down the hall at the Christian School that I worked at. I was on a “mission,” focused on what I “needed” to do. I walked right past someone – and she called me on it. “Karen – you didn’t even see me…. You didn’t acknowledge my presence.” Ouch! I was so intent on what I HAD to do…. that I neglected what was right in front of me! I am more aware of that now – not perfectly by any means, but more aware.

Terria’s words today were convicting. When I decide to NOT do good, I am disobedient. I am refusing to give others God’s love. May these words be my prayer today, along with St. Francis’ prayer, “Make me an instrument of Your peace…”

Giving God’s good and perfect gifts means we deny ourselves and give people the love, goodness, and mercy of Jesus.
Giving Jesus means we deny ourselves the right to judge who is worthy of our love and generosity.
Giving Jesus means we deny ourselves the right to reject and ignore those who offend us.
Giving Jesus means we deny ourselves the right to demand the last word or to retaliate with anger.
Giving Jesus means we deny ourselves the right to refuse our forgiveness.
Giving Jesus means we deny ourselves the right to withhold good.

P– Father God, may I give your gifts – your good and perfect gifts to those I meet today. As I prepare to have families from church over tonight, may I prepare a time of blessing and Your peace. Father, may I give Jesus to those around me. May I not judge who is worthy of my love and generosity. May I not reject those who offend me. May I not demand the last word, or retaliate with anger. May I not refuse forgiveness. May I not withhold good. Father, open my eyes to those around me. Reveal to me Your heart, so I may bring Your love and peace to those around me. Amen.

Make me a Channel of Your Peace – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mT8bybL_DqY

Make me a channel of your peace
Where there is hatred let me bring your love
Where there is injury, your pardon Lord
And where there is doubt true faith in You

Make me a channel of your peace
Where there is despair in life let me bring hope
Where there is darkness only light
And where there’s sadness ever joy

Oh, Master grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love with all my soul

Make me a channel of your peace
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
It is in giving to all men that we receive
And in dying that we are born to eternal life

“Forgiveness” (Matthew West) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1Lu5udXEZI
It’s the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those that don’t deserve

It’s the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just too real
It takes everything you have just to say the word…

Forgiveness
Forgiveness

It flies in the face of all your pride
It moves away the mad inside
It’s always anger’s own worst enemy
Even when the jury and the judge
Say you gotta right to hold a grudge
It’s the whisper in your ear saying ‘Set It Free’

Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible

Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness

It’ll clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what it’s power can do
So, let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you

Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness

I want to finally set it free
So show me how to see what Your mercy sees
Help me now to give what You gave to me
Forgiveness, Forgiveness

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