One of the key points I am making in my book is that we should not simply do good when a need crosses our path, but that we should proactively make plans for doing good for others.
I bring together the various strands in the Scriptures that teach this, one of which is that evildoers are presented in Scripture as making plans for evil (Satan himself being the chief example — Ephesians 6:11 [note the word “schemes”]). If the wicked create plans for harm, how much more should those who follow the Lord create plans for good.
Here’s something interesting on that. Proverbs 24:9 says: “The devising of folly is sin.” In other words, not only is carrying out plans for harm sin, but the actual planning is itself sin.
Conversely, it stands to reason, then, that making plans for good is itself righteous and good. Carrying out plans that serve others is good, but so also is making those plans in the first place.
That should be an encouragement not only to take initiative and be proactive in devising good things we can do for people; it should also be an encouragement for those who have sought to do good things for others but been hindered in the execution.
Take heart that recognizing the opportunity to serve, along with the planning and intentions and forethought, were themselves good and pleasing to God — even if you weren’t able to execute and make them happen.