Some things are ours alone to do. And if we don’t do them, then they simply won’t get done. This is not to assume everything depends on us. But it’s not to neglect those things that do.
Perhaps this is easiest to see on the home front. We leave a wound in the heart of our wife and kids when we don’t show up as husband and father. Our unique role in their life is irreplaceable. Of course, God can still show his love for them through countless others, but this doesn’t erase the pain and suffering they would endure from our neglect.
And the same is true wherever we fail to do the good that’s within our power to do.
For instance, this might be as simple as offering a word of encouragement to someone going through a hard season, expressing gratitude for the often overlooked sacrifices of another, or speaking up when we witness casual injustice at work or in our communities.
It’s easy to assume someone else will surely engage in these simple acts of kindness. But we cannot let ourselves off the hook so easily.
God has given us the eyes to see and the responsibility to respond to the needs in front of us, however big or small. And we allow unnecessary suffering to enter the world when we don’t play the unique part God has given us.
Likewise, we’ve each been given the ability to do certain things well and this is how we bring more life and goodness into the world. And even if everyone else is shining bright, we still allow the world to be a bit darker when we don’t let the unique brilliance of our light shine.
To be sure, our neglect doesn’t stop God’s ultimate story from unfolding. But this doesn’t mean there’s not a cost and consequence to our abdication either.
God has given you this time and place to do good that only you can do. Don’t neglect your duty to love by assuming others will take care of this for you. If you don’t do it, it won’t get done.