In our society it is so easy to walk past a person in need. You see a homeless person on the street begging for money. A lot of us the first reaction is to go around the person thinking “He’ll just use if for drugs or booze” or some such judgmental thought. Sometimes that may be true, but who are we to judge?
I have found over the years it is much better to offer food instead of money. Another thing that can be done is to direct them to the nearest homeless center, preferably one that is “Christ Centered”. It is much more appreciated and much more helpful in the long run I believe. The best thing to do is to pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit. God knows the needs of us all, including those who we may ignore. We don’t know their story, but God does.
5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? 6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? 7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? ~James 2:5-7 (KJV)
When James is speaking about the poor, he is talking about those who have no money, and also those whose simple values are despised by much of our affluent society. Some folks, even if they have plenty of money, choose not to live like it.
Perhaps they prefer serving to managing, human relationship to financial security, peace to power. This doesn’t mean the poor will automatically go to heaven or that the rich will to go hell. Poor people, however; are usually more aware of their powerlessness, and thus it is usually easier for them to acknowledge their need for salvation.
8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: 9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. ~ James 2:8-9 (KJV)~
We must treat all people as we would want to be treated. We should not ignore the rich, because then we would be withholding our love. But we must not favor them for what they can do for us., while ignoring the poor who can offer us seemingly so little in return.
One of the greatest barriers to salvation for the rich is pride, for the poor, it is bitterness. It is the bitterness we need to address as well. Show them that you love them just as Jesus loves you.
I have the privilege of preaching at Las Vegas Rescue Mission, a Christ-centered shelter for the homeless and oppressed. My wife and I also help serve meals to these good folks. It is such a blessing and so humbling to see the appreciation in their eyes for the food they eat and Word of God they hear.
I would suggest for anyone who cares about the poor and oppressed to seek out your local homeless centers. See how you can help to bring some joy into the lives of the poor forgotten souls by volunteering to help them and love them.
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me….45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. ~Matthew 25:40,45 (KJV)~
Remember God is watching. Do as Jesus would do….