“He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy.” (Proverbs 14:31 NKJV)
One of the things that Jesus said that almost everyone would agree with was that the poor would be with us always. (Found in both Matthew 26 and Mark 14) I believe that Jesus said that because He understood the human condition. He didn’t say that was a good thing. He didn’t say that we should strive to make sure that happened. He just understood humanity. The key to understanding God’s point of view isn’t found in whether or not people are poor. The key is found in how we treat people who are poor. That’s how Solomon put it in the book of Proverbs. How we deal with people who are poor is an indication of our relationship with God. Put simply, you either use people who are poor, or you are used to help those who are poor. Do you think you can ignore people in poverty? If so, you’re probably taking part in oppressing the poor. You don’t even realize those in poverty who are trying to make a better life for themselves and their families. You look for the cheapest price on things forgetting that the reason you’re able to get things so cheaply is that the manufacturer may be oppressing their workers to squeeze out every nickel of profit they can get. Christians need to be proactive in honoring our Maker by having mercy on people who are needy and treating them with dignity. Since we’ll always have poor people around us, we can give our Creator a lot of honor while we’re helping people in need.
How do you look at people trapped in poverty? Do you blame them for their situation and do nothing to help because they did this to themselves or do you find ways to help? It’s easy to think about all you may have overcome to get to where you are today and think that others have no excuse, but even if you’ve walked on the same block, you were wearing different shoes. What can you do on an ongoing basis to help people caught in poverty? You’ll not only be honoring God when you do, you’ll find that you experience great satisfaction when you do that.
Lord, so many people in our world suffer from the effects of poverty. No matter how they got to that point in their life, help me to understand their situation, love them with Your heart, and find ways to honor You by helping them.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.