I Meant to Do That

May 25, 2023

Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is God's hand for that person. Never tell your neighbors to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now. Proverbs 3:27-28 MSG

“A good intention is like an idea that you keep to yourself. If you don't do something with it, it's like it never existed.” – Frank Sonnenberg

“Direction, not intention, determines your destination.” – Andy Stanley

I believe that most of us are fairly good people. I believe that few of us are mean people. We intend to be great, giving, helpful, and kind. In our plans, we are amazing. We know what we are going to do. We are going to be magnificent. We’re going to be the engaged neighbor who checks in and makes time for that single mom to have a friend. We will be the dad who goes out of his way for the kids so that he will be the go-to when they are in trouble. We will be careful to give a little extra attention to the people who serve us—we just need life to slow down a little. We know exactly who/what needs a little financial help, and we’ll do that next month. You know… when the dust settles.

You could go on and on with this list, couldn’t you? I could too. We have the most admirable plans and agendas in our minds, and we know how we will carry them out a little later. We can’t today—but God knows, we are kind and giving people. We want to go there. And we will. When the dust settles.

However, you know as well as I do, the dust never settles. Life never slows down. That’s what Solomon is getting at when he tells us to never wait till tomorrow to help our neighbor. Do it now. The best intention dissipates in the challenge of a new day. We go down the pathway of procrastination, comforting ourselves with what we’re going to do, never facing the reality that our marvelous plan never gets accomplished.

Andy Stanley reminds us that direction, not intention, determines our destination. We will never be kind unless we take action. Frank Sonneberg says our good intentions might as well have never existed if we don’t take action with them. We get no credit for what we’re going to do tomorrow, and no one is helped by a kindness we only plan to do. Solomon says our hands are God’s hands for people who need us now. Do you only imagine that you are kind, giving, and generous? Or does your action prove it?

  • Be kind and generous today with what you have now. Don’t wait until tomorrow to help with what you hope you have then.