My neighbor is out of town for a few days. Just before he and his wife left they got word that their air conditioner is almost dead. Right after that they found a leak in a water pipe in their basement. The leak has been going on for a while and has caused some damage, not to mention a very expensive repair. All this news kept them busy up until the time they left and so he lamented not getting his grass cut.
Today I went out to cut my grass. I looked at my neighbors and thought I’d be a good neighbor and cut his grass, too. The yards aren’t big and I can cut mine in an hour so his will double that, no worries, right? I’ve got some time and he’ll really be glad not to have that job when he gets back.
His yard is nicer than mine; or at least the grass is thicker. It was heavy to cut and since I use a bagger, I had to empty it about every two passes in his yard. The cutting was easy, but emptying the bag and restarting my old mower was a little laborious. In my yard, I have to empty the bag once in the front and three times in the back. The neighbors was about 10 – 12 times in the back.
Now I am not begrudging what I did, but maybe you have found this to be true. You start out to do a good deed and it quickly becomes more than you thought. But your desire was sincere and so you do the favor and it all turns out well. The neighbors’ yard looks nice and I am sure they will appreciate the effort.
Now I get to lie. I don’t want him to know I did it or he will wind up doing mine sometime thinking he has to return the favor. I didn’t do it as an investment. I did it to be nice. I didn’t do because I had to or felt indebted. I did it because I wanted to; I do not want any obligatory response. I know how it can feel to return from some time away and find work that has pled up. I wanted to take one thing off their plate and I was in the position to help.
Proverbs 3:27 is good advice; “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”