Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”— when you already have it with you.
The manner in which you respond when someone calls upon you is the manner in which God will respond when you call upon Him.
The principle behind this proverb is profound and amazingly practical. Years ago, I was frustrated – it seemed as if everyone was conspiring against me. People would delay paying me money that was owed to me. I would do work for them but would have a difficulty receiving payment. It was discouraging and even caused me to question the work that I was doing.
One day, as I was reading this chapter of Proverbs, I noticed this verse – as I read it – I responded, “My neighbors do not ask anything of me.” As I continued reading, I felt prompted to look deeper into this text. What was I missing?
Then I saw the answer – I have developed a habit of delaying paying invoices until the last day or opportunity to do so – even when I had the money to pay it days earlier. I realized that it wasn’t stingy but my fear of lack that caused me to hesitate. I feared to be without.
I saw very quickly that this was operating the Biblical principle of sowing and reaping – as I delayed paying bills that were due – others were delaying paying what was due to me.
As I saw this at work in my life, I began to change my habits and start reflexively paying bills as soon as I had the invoice. I saw the change almost immediately – those with whom I would do business would quickly pay me for my services.
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