Do you think you can do things in a vacuum - as though whatever you do or don't do just won't affect anyone else? If you believe this, you have believed a lie - for every action or inaction on our part not only affects another, it is observed by many, but especially one person - God himself. The times of inaction as just as significant as those of our immediate action. Why? We have been commanded to be "active" on behalf of those who need us to step in and help - inaction on our part is actually disobedience. What we do with the opportunities we miss are maybe more important than those we actually embrace!
Rescue the perishing; don’t hesitate to step in and help. If you say, “Hey, that’s none of my business,” will that get you off the hook? Someone is watching you closely, you know—someone not impressed with weak excuses. (Proverbs 24:11-12 MSG)
The most telling thing within our passage today is the idea of God knowing and understanding our hearts - he sees into the very core of our being, knows our thoughts, interprets our intent, and is comfortable exploring the recesses of our reasoning. He doesn't have a whole lot of patience with excuses, though. Since he knows our hearts, any excuse we could render really falls short of the truth anyway!
Rescue the perishing - those on the verge of being destroyed through neglect, violence, or other force exerting pressure in order to leave a life in ruin. We probably have these opportunities a whole lot more than we might think. Have you ever stopped to just reach out to a small child with nothing more than a smile and a little wave? You catch their eye, don't you? Why? They crave attention. Kids are built that way - they want the attention of adults around them. Who knows, that tiny moment of attention may seem insignificant to you, but it could make a world of difference to the child who hasn't received any positive attention from those in their life today.
Step in and help - this is where our intentions become actions. Actionable intentions are the only ones that count! The willingness to step in and help goes way beyond the platitudes of "let me know if there is anything you need", as we all know human tendency is to offer assist as a matter of courtesy, hoping silently that no one will really take them up on their offer! God has a different set of "marching orders" for us, though. His marching orders include us actually putting "feet" to those words. In recognizing the need, we are to find a way to meet it. We may not have the means to meet it ourselves, but we can always stand with the one who has the need - such as when someone is going through chemo in the battle over cancer. We cannot beat the cancer for them, but we can drive them to chemo, clean up their yard when they are too tired to lift a trowel, or just bring a bag of groceries on our way home from our errands at the local grocer.
It is NEVER none of our business - for our business is to be ambassadors of Christ's love on this earth. We cannot turn a blind eye or deaf ear to the cries of those in places of despair and desperation. We hold the very thing they need - the connection to God's grace, love, and provision. Our business is HIS business and as such, we are not to neglect it - EVER.
We are under scrutiny - watched from not only above, but in this very place where we live and breathe. We never really know when someone will catch our action, or notice our inaction, but they are watching. What we do matters to not only the one we are reaching out to, but to the one who is silently taking it all in. Who knows - your example may be the very thing someone else needs to actually connect to the love of Jesus - seeing Jesus in your actions may be the very evidence that helps them to see their own need for him.
We can limit our effectiveness through out inaction, but we can magnify his grace within every action done in his name. Just sayin!