Reaching the poor

Deuteronomy 15:11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.

Everyday we see people in need, many times passing them by without a second thought. We go along with our busy lives, never stopping to lend a hand to someone that has been facing tough times. We may justify it, saying “They’ve done something to get themselves in that position”. We may seek to make ourselves feel better by pointing out that there is always something and someone and we can’t help them all.

It may very well be that the person in need is reaping some of the consequences of their own actions, but one finds very little justification in the Bible for not helping someone because it’s their own fault that they are where they’re at in life. We’re called to love, not to love only those who have not made mistakes that led to poverty or need.

It also may be true that there will always be someone in need and we can’t help all of them with the limited resources we’ve been given in our own lives. But again, one could search all through the Bible and find very little instruction to give only if you can give to everyone. In fact, the scriptures point out that there will always be poor people in the land. Yet that is the very basis for the command (“Therefore I command you…”) to give and to help.

Love the poor. Help the needy. You never know, it just may be Jesus that you’ve assisted.

Further reading: Matthew 25:31-46