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Bending To The Truth

Why Pity The Poor

Taking A Byte Out Of Lies

The poor, the abused, the helpless...what can our compassion accomplish for them?

  • An 11-yr-old girl in India is kidnapped and forced into sex slavery.
  • A homeless man, possessing just $5, is robbed and beaten to death.
  • A U.S. corporate executive declares his company bankrupt, but first takes millions in bonuses.
  • In Africa, people are starving, while food supplies sit a mile away, in a storehouse blocked by a corrupt government.

These are difficult to read. Don't we want people to be treated well? Don't we want humanity to be compassionate, caring,and fair.

What happened to our understanding of "survival of the fittest?" Why does it bother us that the weaker is abused, exploited, and harmed? The stronger winning over the weaker should be the norm. That should be acceptable to us. This is why we believe in evolution. So then, this is the corner stone when taking God out of humanity. "Survival of the fittest" actually runs against our conscience. We don't believe that a person should be victimized, just because a stronger person is able to do it to them. Or do We.......

When Did We See You Naked?

As You Do To The Least Of These

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?

You Have Done It Unto Me

(Matthew 25:37-46)

So, in light of the previous opening of this artical lets have a new glimps on this difficult read. "What can our compassion accomplish for them?" We know that Jesus left the most exclusive gated community in the universe, choosing to come and live among us, seeking out those on the margins of society—the poor and untouchable. He hung out with beggars, outcasts and prostitutes. He told tales of hoarders and debtors, fair wages, dishonest managers and even the indignity of being excluded from rich people's banquets. The gospel record simply overflows with Jesus' teachings on money.

He Left The Splender Of Heaven

Knowing His Destiny

Some of those teachings are deeply challenging. Our churches tiptoe around these passages, turning them into earthly stories with heavenly meanings instead of tough calls to whole-life discipleship.

We come up with a hundred reasons why these verses cannot possibly mean what they say, perhaps deciding that there is something so wild and subversive about these words that they are better kept locked up safely at the back of our minds. Even the men and women at Jesus' side were freaked out by his teachings at times. Many of them turned away, saying His words were just too hard. We do the same today.

For several years our family lived in a small village in Tanzania, East Africa. So my interest in issues of poverty is more than academic. The many children who greeted us as we walked to language school each morning with their hands outstretched Saying "Nipe. Nipe" (meaning give me, give me) are not statistics, but real people with hopes and dreams as they tug at my arm and my heart.

Living there forced me to dig deeper into Jesus' teachings about poverty and wealth, because like most readers of this article: I am filthy rich. I was forced to ask, what did Jesus mean when he said, "Go. Sell everything you have and give to the poor…" (Mark 10:21) or, "any one of you who does not give up everything he owns cannot be my disciple" Luke 14:33. (Remember to read the entire scripture to understand these words.)

Even earning just $15,000 per year, which is the minimum wage in the United States, would make me wealthier than 92 percent of the world. There is no denying that relatively speaking, we are people of affluence and comfort in a world of need.

So, what can our compassion accomplish for them?

Just like the boy with his lunch of five loaves of bread and two fishes, it was all he had. It was just a drop in the bucket to feed 5,000 people. Why bother? But giving them to Jesus made the difference. Jesus multiplied them 5,000-fold and they all ate with left overs. Food for thought.

It's one thing to say, "one day God will eliminate suffering", but that does not change the fact that people are suffering now. God cares when people suffer. Yes, he said that the poor will always be among us, and so he stayed with them. Considering this article, we need to remember What Jesus said in Matthew 25:45. He did not say during this time to give all you have, what he did say is a far greater challange then our giving, It is are living he is condemning. "What you do to the least of these you do to me." It is what we do. If we take what we do each day and give it to Jesus, he will multiply it.

Ron Bender-BenderBytes

You don't need to be a billionaire to help the poor. Bringing care packs to the homeless or donating used clothes to a local charity is already a huge help. Remember if you bring it to Jesus, it will be multiplied. But, of course, if you are a billionaire or have a lot to spare, then it won't hurt to give more do more. We are all channels of God's grace. He did not give us all these blessings just so we can enjoy it all by ourselves. Instead, He gave them to us so that His grace can flow through us and into the people who need them the most.

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