July 17, 2017

July 17, 2017

PROVERBS 13-15

Focus Verse: He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker,
But he who is gracious to the needy honors Him.
Proverbs 14:31

 

We are all made in the image of God. Therefore, when you oppress the poor (or anyone else for that matter), you are taunting the One who made that person. Yet if you honor that person, God will honor you. This is why Jesus taught that “whaterver you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.”

 

This goes so much further than just oppressing the poor. I didn’t post any of these verses, but check out the reading for today. How many times do you see a warning to hold your tongue. And, spoiler alert, one of my favorite passages is coming tomorrow from Proverbs 18:21. But why is it so important to weigh our words so carefully? Because, like James warns us in James 3:8-10,

“But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.”

 

How are you treating others who were made in God’s image? Are you honoring them with your thoughts, words and deeds or are you oppressing them? This goes so much further than just giving the poor a handout. That’s good! But it is about giving them something that they need so much more: honor, dignity, respect.

 

Do you treat the poor the same way that you would treat the C.E.O. of a fortune 500 company? Do you treat the most successful person you know, the person you respect more than anyone else, the same way that you treat someone who is living off of government assistance (whether they ‘deserve’ that assistance in your opinion or not).

 

Here’s the truth of it: my answer is no, I don’t treat everyone equally. And even if I do act like I do, my thoughts and words very rarely live up to that standard. My guess is that you are probably in the same boat as I am here. Here’s why: We CAN’T do this. But Jesus did. And He will do through us if we allow the Holy Spirit to have control.

 

I can’t. But Jesus did and will through the Holy Spirit in me.

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