Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to do it.
We often think about charity as doing something good for someone when it isn’t required. Paying taxes isn’t charitable, but donating food to a shelter is charitable. Both actions might directly or indirectly assist people in need, but one feels more like extra credit than the other. However, the wording of this passage requires a more demanding definition of charity. Not only are we expected to aid the needy, moreover if we have the means to aid them and choose not to, we are withholding good. Suddenly dropping a few dollars in a cup seems less righteous when we consider the potential good we are withholding when we prioritize our own comfort. Charity, by this definition, begins to resemble a responsibility to God similar to paying taxes is to the government. Are we being honest about the tax bracket to which we belong? Are we being honest about the time, energy, talent, and influence that we can offer? Generosity is not extra credit. Generosity is our purpose.