Friday, November 18, 2011

Proverbs 14: 31

He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who is gracious to the needy honors Him.

A couple of weeks ago, we got into a nice discussion about having a hard time loving others. Sometimes it is hard to love the poor when we see them squander money on useless things rather than spending it where it needs to be--on their family. Sometimes it is hard to love when you see someone driving a fancy car, dripping in jewelry, when you know there are people out there that are hurting and could use help.

As I was contemplating this verse, I was thinking of ways that people are 'poor'- but not just monetarily. People with addictions, depression, loneliness, hatred that eats at them...there are so many ways that people are needy.

I am not going to make this a long study today. In your personal time, think about ways that people are 'poor'. In your journal, just don't make a list of these ways, but make a list of people. List their need and how you might begin to be gracious to help them with that need. It may not be something that you can do right away. And you may have to do it again, and again.

An example-- I have a half-brother that is a drug addict. He has lived with me numerous times; once even on house arrest. Each time I tried to be loving and gracious in spite of his addiction.I would encourage and praise him when he did good.  That doesn't mean that I just let him get away with things. The minute I caught him with drugs--I was the one to call his parole officer.  I haven't had contact with my brother since he found out I'm married to someone who works for the Dept of Corrections (go figure!) but I know that he knows that I am praying for him and that I will welcome him with open arms next time he shows his face.


Belinda said...

It's so hard to continue being kind to someone who chooses to do wrong. But we must.

Snoodles said...

I agree, y'all. I know that as parents, one of the best things we can do for our children is to (at a reasonable age) begin to let them make their own decisions and choices. They need to learn that "actions have consequences." But to this day, I still find it difficult to "zip my lip" and stop right after giving them a little guidance. I want to keep going and keep trying to convince them! (My kids are 31, 25, and 23! LOL)
We never know, do we, which ones we meet in the course of a day may actually be "poor" in the ways that you mentioned, Tonya. I know sometimes I think I'm in too much of a hurry, and I have to tell myself to take the time to smile and be kind, and make certain that in everyday situations, I am gracious to those I come in contact with. That person might be depressed because the holidays are coming; they might be fighting the urge to go and find that supplier for a drug addiction; they might even be thinking it's time to end their life here on earth. I pray that I'll recall this verse often as I'm out and about, and that I'll let my witness shine.