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The Poor and Needy

Wednesday, January 24th
The Poor and Needy
By: Pastor Melissa Beauvais

“Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” Proverbs 14:31

Standing up for injustice, feeding the poor and hungry, have never been optional commands for Israel or Christians. Over 300 times in the Bible, both New and Old Testament, God commands us to be generous among all people. Generosity is His nature, so He desires that to be ours as well.

Over the summer at Lighthouse Camp, me and another leader ran a social experiment on homelessness. Each camper was given a scenario, a person, to read their story. Every story was real, and every story was different. From there the campers were instructed to go to stations and their main objective was to find water, food, and shelter. At one of the stations, they had to find money to buy food. The other counselors and leaders were given “money” and the only instructions “you may give or not give to anyone you choose”. There were many things that were enlightening but one, why counselors chose to give or not, was an unexpected surprise. What was most revealing was their heart posture. Things like “I didn’t feel like giving” or “I would have had to get up and walk over and I did not want to leave my friends” or “I did not know if they would spend it on the right things” were a few of the responses.  

While I could write so many amazing things about this social experiment and the things we learned, what we all were confronted with was our own judgment. We, Christians, lovers and followers of Jesus, had been exposed. How often do we pass judgment of the person sleeping on the corner? Or think we know what they might do with the money given to them. How often are we guilty of saying/thinking “just go get a job” (many homeless persons have jobs)? God doesn’t ask for us to examine the outcome but simply to love, give, and allow Him to work out the rest.

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