“For the poor shall never cease out of the land; therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shall open your hand wide unto your brother, to the poor, and to the needy, in your land.” Deuteronomy 15:11
In an interview a few years ago, American comedian Chris Rock said, “–Someone called me rich! -Rich? He asked, shaking his head, –Uh-uh, I’m not a basketball player; or, a football player, or a baseball player! –They’re not even rich! –Rich, is the guy who writes their checks!”
Have you ever wondered what separates newly homeless people from the average middle-income adult? Continue reading while you give the answer some thought.
Most people have no understanding of what it means to be truly poor due to outlying circumstances. We see it; we hear about it; yet, we ignore it. Why? –Because, our understanding of the word “poor” primarily has to do with how well we can actually afford to live. We base it on whether we can afford a new car, designer clothing, evenings out, or quite possibly, for example, the ability to purchase groceries without really caring about the price. We stretch our disposable income to prove that we are not poor; or at least, not as poor as the person next door. Poor becomes relative; it depends on who you are talking to, and more importantly, whom the comparison is with.
Wealth, of course, is also relative. The Bible says, the poor shall never cease out of the land. Yet the truth is, we really don’t like to acknowledge people who are “poorer-than-us;” because, deep-down we know that “there, but for the Grace of God, go I” every time we look at them. The homeless, the desolate, and the desperate; they make us angry and sometimes a little defensive. We wonder how they got themselves into it, and know deep down in our core that it can never happen to us. Oh? -Never? –Have you answered the opening question as yet? Read it once more.
Economists say that if you currently live from paycheck to paycheck, and have neglected to save at least 6 months to a year of your salary to maintain your household bills, you, more than likely, can fall victim to homelessness. If you lose your job, and do not find another before your savings or unemployment checks run out, you too can be homeless. It does not matter if you are white collar, blue collar, or no-collar, it can still happen.
–So, the reason that we pay close attention to the directive in Deuteronomy 15:11 is because, “There, but for the Grace of God, go I, you, we, us!” We give because we can. We give because it’s right. But, more importantly, we give because, if we are ever in the same circumstances, we pray that someone will have mercy on us! L.
Study Reference: Deuteronomy 15:10-15, Zechariah 7:9-13
Excerpt from: "Acknowledging Wealth? Are U Rich? " In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions For Everyday Living. Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell