Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
A similar and more forceful statement is made in the NT, Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin (James 4:17). The concept in both passages is very clear. It is just a much of a sin NOT to DO something you ought to do as it is to DO something you ought not.
The distinction is commonly described as sins of commission (commit-ion) and sins of omission. When you break a thou shalt not, the act you have committed is a sinful one. When you transgress a thou shalt, your omission of whatever deed was required is inherently sinful.
I believe that oftentimes it's easy for us to place a greater emphasis on staying away from sins of commission. We're usually pretty careful not to do the things that God has expressly forbidden. But the problem is that far too often we stop there, and think we're OK so long as we're not doing those real bad things God said not to do.
The truth of the matter is that our failure to witness is a sin. The truth of the matter is that our failure to do good to those that are of the household of faith is a sin. The truth of the matter is that our failure to praise the name of the Lord is a sin. The truth of the matter is that our failure to pray without ceasing is a sin.
Yes, there are many things God has commanded us not to be involved in. And we shouldn't be involved in those things. But let's take some time today to recognize that there are some activities that God has commanded us to be involved in, and we should give our hearts devotion to those things.
I believe the primary application for us to take from this verse is in the area of evangelism. Proverbs 3:28 says, Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. According to Romans 1:14-16, we owe it to the lost to boldly proclaim the gospel message. And according to Acts 1:8, it is in the power of our hands to do it.
Don't be ashamed of the gospel of Christ. Withhold not the good thing that has been committed to your trust. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so. Amen!