Proverbs 22:16 (NLT)
16 A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor
or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty.
The social barriers that I’m referring to in today’s lesson title are the rich and the poor…the lower, middle and upper classes…the blue collar and the white collar. Once again I’m reminded by the following passages that as someone who is made in the image of God, that I too need to not act partially/showing favoritism towards anyone. I pray that the Lord will give me His eyes to look through each day, in order to align my vision with His…
John 3:16 (NIV) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Even the cross pictured for us the removal of social barriers. He died for the world. Not just the Jew, or the Gentile, or the rich, or the poor, or the one’s He could benefit from the most, but rather, THE ENTIRE HUMAN RACE!
Today’s Proverb describes for us a lose-lose situation. Oppress the poor – lose. Choose to spoil only the rich while ignoring the poor – then lose as well. Consider what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:17-22 (NLT) concerning how believers were acting at the Lord’s Supper,
“17 But in the following instructions, I cannot praise you. For it sounds as if more harm than good is done when you meet together. 18 First, I hear that there are divisions among you when you meet as a church, and to some extent I believe it. 19 But, of course, there must be divisions among you so that you who have God’s approval will be recognized! 20 When you meet together, you are not really interested in the Lord’s Supper. 21 For some of you hurry to eat your own meal without sharing with others. As a result, some go hungry while others get drunk. 22 What? Don’t you have your own homes for eating and drinking? Or do you really want to disgrace God’s church and shame the poor? What am I supposed to say? Do you want me to praise you? Well, I certainly will not praise you for this!
In Mark 12:30-31, Jesus shares with us what the greatest commandment is – it is to
30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Also, if you have time, take a look at the three different responses in the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). This Luke passage answers the question, “Who is my neighbor?” (question…verse 29, and the answer…verse 37).
Sometimes we get such tunnel vision and only care for those within our own little circle. What about the other families that God causes to cross your eyes in your community…at the grocery store, game, restaurant, etc.? Are you looking to be Jesus-with-skin-on to the rich and poor? Or only to the rich? What about the “poor”?
What is awesome, is when you know that the Holy Spirit is guiding you to act, regardless of what social class someone belongs to. So let me encourage you to open your eyes, be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit’s guiding, obediently act, and expect nothing in return (no strings attached to your expressed generosity…all Glory to Him!). One of my favorite Hymns that comes to mind quite often is entitled Make Me a Blessing. Enjoy!
Make Me a Blessing
1 Out in the highways and byways of life,
many are weary and sad;
are weary and sad
Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife
making the sorrowing glad.
Make me a blessing,
Make me a blessing,
Out of my life
out of my life
May Jesus shine;
Make me a blessing, O savior, I pray,
I pray Thee, my Savior,
Make me a blessing to someone today.
2 Tell the sweet story of Christ and His love;
Tell of His pow'r to forgive;
His pow'r to forgive.
Others will trust Him if only you prove
true ev'ry moment you live.
3 Give as 'twas given to you in your need;
Love as the Master loved you;
Be to the helpless a helper indeed;
Unto your mission be true.
Nate Smith is a college baseball and football coach, a husband, a father of 6 girls, grandpa to 3 granddaughters, a police chaplain, and has a passion to see men grow in Christ.
#girldad including granddaughter