“I don’t give a flip about the poor. I think they are lazy frauds that beg off people just to go buy booze. Why on earth should I help them?” I declared to my husband.
After doing a Beth Moore Bible study on the book of James, I was aghast at how many Scriptures command us to help the poor. Helping the poor is something commanded by Jesus, James, and tons of other Scriptures. I was floored and horrified because I have never heard a sermon about helping the poor, and I don’t care one whit about them. What is wrong with my hardened heart?
(Here are some verses about helping the poor. If you want to read them, I wrote them out here. Exodus 22:21-27, Leviticus 19:9-10, Leviticus 25:35-38, Deuteronomy 14:28-29, Deuteronomy 15:7-11, Deuteronomy 24:17-22, 1 Samuel 2:7, Nehemiah 5:6-13, Psalm 12:5, Psalm 112:5, Proverbs 14:21, Proverbs 14:31, Proverbs 17:5, Proverbs 19:17, Proverbs 22:16, Proverbs 28:8, Proverbs 28:27, Isaiah 3:14, Isaiah 58:5-7, Isaiah 61:1-2, Ezekiel 18:5-9, Amos 5:11, Matthew 19:21, Luke 6:34-35, 38, Luke 14:12-14, Galatians 2:10, James 2:1-7, Revelation 3:17.)
As I was reading the book of James, I was convicted that we live “in luxury and in self-indulgence” in this country, and meanwhile other believers are working hard and don’t have enough to feed their families. In the body of Christ, we ought to fill each other’s needs instead of overpampering ourselves. My husband has the gift of giving. If he sees a need, he automatically fills the need of the other person. I am not talking about professional beggars that are liars. What I’m talking about is interconnecting with other believers in the body of Christ, whether at a local church, or with other homeschoolers, or with friends. These people aren’t lazy and shouldn’t be lumped in with frauds.
I do NOT believe the poor should get help from the government (aside from not having to pay taxes), because then they feel a sense of entitlement and demand it, and the majority stop working. That’s sin. If someone doesn’t work, neither shall he eat. (II Thessalonians 3:10) If someone doesn’t provide for his family, he is worse than an unbeliever. (I Timothy 5:8) But if someone is working hard and still can’t feed his children, and you know about it and do nothing, you are guilty of sin. Read James 2:15-17: “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” God says your faith is dead if you see someone in need (for real), and you don’t help them.
We enjoy hoarding and piling up all of our money at the bank. There is nothing wrong with being rich, since Abraham was rich, and so was Job, and they were both godly people. But both Abraham and Job gave to other people and didn’t just hoard it to amass riches.
This whole idea of hoarding money reminds me of the man in Scripture who had full granaries and worked super hard to become rich, only to have his soul required of him that very night. “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’” (Luke 12:20)