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Proverbs at Work: Don’t Withhold

Updated: Apr 8, 2023



“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is in your power to act.” (Proverbs 3:27)

Managing a business is so much more than the financials, marketing, scheduling, policies and procedures (and I am very much a policies and procedures person!). Without a doubt, metrics need to be gathered and analyzed. Invoices need to go out, bills need to be paid. Your suppliers will not be happy if you withhold payment, or in other words, what is due to them. Have you ever thought you might be withholding things (good things) from your staff and colleagues which you might be able to act on?


What is meant by the “good” in “don’t withhold good”?


Well, it may be particular to your role, your opportunities, and your staffing situation. “Good” does not just mean a pay raise, but it is good to regularly review this. Of course, we need to be wise in our businesses to ensure viability, but we also need to be wise about how we treat others. And, specifically, if we might be holding good things back from people when we are able to provide them.


God says to not withhold good if it is in your power to act. “Good” can mean many things, such as:


  1. A promotion or a new position to acknowledge someone’s skills and loyalty. In that way, you are not withholding the demonstration of appreciation and acknowledgment of their abilities.

  2. Recognizing someone struggling with a personal difficulty and letting them know you are there to support them. In that way, you are not withholding the opportunity to make life easier for them.

  3. Giving time off during the workday for a special event such as a child’s race or concert. In that way, you are not withholding the experience and memory of a special moment they cannot have back.

  4. Providing a change in schedule, work hours, or responsibilities so they can care for a loved one. In that way, you are not withholding the time and energy they need to address a difficult situation.

  5. Providing forgiveness and understanding to someone who has not worked to their usual standards. Have a conversation, let them know your concerns, listen to understand what caused them to behave that way, and support them in taking steps to improve. In that way, you are not withholding the return of their pride and dignity.

There may be times you would like to do something considered a good thing by your employee, but it is really not reasonable. Sometimes, an employee asks for something which would be good for them, but unfortunately, not possible in your business or business model. When requests are unusual, pray to God for discernment. Always remember to respond to others as you would like to be responded to if you were requesting something.

Sometimes, you may not know you may be withholding something good for people because they don’t let you know their needs. They may be silent, but their face shows their struggles. In those cases, do not wait for them to ask for help. Take time to ask them how they are doing. Having a conversation may allow you to live Proverbs 3:7 at work and “provide something good” for people you work with, and it is in your power to do so.


This week, be understanding and open to requests, even if they do not seem reasonable or possible. There may be a way that will work for the person and the business.


This week, ask God to discern who may be struggling and who could use “a touch of good.” See what God puts on your heart, and do not withhold it if you can do it!


Taking This to God in Prayer:

Lord, thank You for my workplace. Please help me to be open to opportunities to “not withhold good” when I can. Lord, help me to display You at work with the care, thoughtfulness, and compassion people so often desperately need. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Have a wonderful week, and “do good”!

Bonny, Christian Women at


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