Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.
A delay can turn charity into cruelty! If you can help a needy person today, do not wait. Help him today. Do not offer or promise to help in the future. Real love will help now!
A delay can turn debt into theft! If you owe a person or business, and you can pay, then withholding payment is theft, for you are keeping what is rightfully theirs. Clear the debt!
The previous proverb condemns refusing to pay. It reads, “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it” (Pr 3:27). This proverb before you condemns delaying to pay. Godly men will pay charity or debt and on time.
God’s rules for success include cash flow and timely payment of charity and debts. There are good reasons for paying today rather than later. You may never live to see tomorrow (Pr 27:1). You may lose the means you now have (Pr 23:5). You cause the poor to live another day in grief (Jas 2:15-16; 5:1-5). A little when needed is better than more later!
This godly rule of wisdom taught by King Solomon applies to bills, debts, dues, wages, taxes, charity, family support, giving, and any similar obligations. If you owe anyone or could help anyone, and you have the money to do so, you should certainly give it today.
Why would anyone say, “Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give”? Is it a selfish desire to hold things another day? Is it selfish hope the need will end? Is it selfish hope someone else will give? Is it profane hope compassion will wane? All four are shameful!
When God wrote the laws for the nation of Israel, day laborers had to be paid their wages every day, and the poor had to have security deposits returned to them every night (Lev 19:13; Deut 24:12-15). The God of heaven cares about details. Beware of holding back!
The due date on a bill or loan payment is when it is due. Can you grasp that? The grace period is the days a creditor will let you steal before seeking to put you in jail. You do not have a Christian right to the grace period. Pay your bills before the due date. Be noble.
A good rule is to pay bills and obligations when they are incurred, or when they arrive in the mail. This creates financial freedom, and you are always ahead for the unexpected emergency. Living from check to check, from bill to bill, is painful and imprudent folly.
When you employ anyone for wages, whether to cut your grass, repair your car, or watch your children, pay them that day! God will be honored, your reputation enhanced, and the receiving persons thrilled. Doing such minor financial things God’s way is win-win-win.
God cares for the poor. He expects you to also care, when they have a real need, and you can help. He gave you the financial means to help them, so freely share. Talk is cheap and does no good (Jas 2:15-16; I Jn 3:17-18). Performance is what counts (II Cor 8:11).
Giving to the poor is lending to God (Pr 19:17); it proves eternal life (I Jn 3:11-24); and it ought to be done as soon as a need is detected. Jesus Christ expects the rich to be ready and willing to give money away, and He rewards them for it (I Tim 6:17-19; Heb 6:10).
When a neighbor is in need, get it for him as soon as possible. You can produce joy by a fast response. It has been said, “He gives twice who gives speedily.” The trait of great men is not only mercy, but the love of mercy (Mic 6:8). Show such love by quick help.
Paul gave a rule like this proverb when he wrote, “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another” (Rom 13:8). You must pay all charity or debt that is due, but then you will still be in debt to love your neighbor, which is the second greatest commandment of God.
The crucified thief cried, “Lord, remember me” (Luke 23:42). Jesus, keeping the rule of this proverb in matters far greater than money, did not defer until the next day, when it would have been too late. He said, “To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Lu 23:43).