This past summer I decided to try something new in my bible reading. I've heard so many people do it I thought I'd give it a try. I decided to read the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds with whatever day of the month it is. By the time summer was over I had read the book of Proverbs 3 times. The one thing that struck me the most was how many verses in Proverbs talk about our responsibility as believers to the poor. Verses like:
"The poor are shunned even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends. " Proverbs 14:20
"It is a sin to despise one’s neighbor, but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy. " Proverbs 14:21
"Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. " Proverbs 14:31
"Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done. " Proverbs 19:17
"Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all. " Proverbs 22:2
"Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses. " Proverbs 28:27
After reading these verse I know I cannot ignore them. I am like so many Christians in America living a comfortable suburban lifestyle just completely ignoring the plight of the poor around the world & those in my own backyard. And then if we do think about it, the problem seems so monumental we have no idea how to help. And we live in a country that looks down on poor people and blames them for all of their problems. We think they just need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and go out there and achieve the American dream. I used to think that too until I realized that made me feel justified in not helping the poor. And that attitude, that I don't need to help the poor, however all American it might be just isn't biblical. And if it isn't biblical then I'm not thinking it. I'm still working with what it practically means to care for the poor and needy. I am seeking God and how He wants me to live that out in my life. What about you? How are you caring for the least of these?