A young boy is swimming at the beach. The tide carries him out a little and suddenly he can’t touch bottom. He panics and begins to flail his arms frantically. The boy is about to drown. On a dock nearby, a healthy well-built man hears the boy’s cries and makes no attempt to save him. Whether or not the boy survives, is that man guiltless?
Of course not!
Proverbs 24:11-12 gives a similar situation. It says, “If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to everyman according to his works?”
God tells us in His word that He sees us. He knows our heart and our motives. He knows what we are capable of. This verse makes it very clear that God has a punishment for those who can save others and don’t do it.
So you may never be able to save someone’s physical life, but how about someone’s spiritual life? Have you ever had a friend or acquaintance who is about to make some horrible decision that will have terrible consequences? I know I have. I’m sure we all have.
You may not be able to keep them from a wrong decision, but it is your duty to do something.
God commands us to love our neighbor. It is a far cry from love for us to watch someone destroy their life without attempting to save them. So I challenge you, take another look around you. If you see someone in grave danger, physical or otherwise, take some action. Perhaps you should speak to them about salvation. Maybe you should give them some godly counsel. Or maybe it’s not your place to correct them, and you should simply pray for them. Seek the Lord about what He would have you do.
James 4:17 says, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
Just like it would be a wicked thing for that man to ignore the cries of a drowning boy, it would be a wicked thing for us to ignore the plight of this dying world or the plight of our Christian brothers and sisters.
Let us not hold back when it is in our power to give life!