Take Care

A proverb is a simple saying to express a truth.  This reading contains three snippets around the subject of rich and poor:

Proverbs 22

A good reputation and respect
are worth much more
than silver and gold.
The rich and the poor
are all created
by the Lord.

What would you want more –  To have lots of money?  Or to be treated with respect and have a good reputation?  I guess the answer to that is a whole lot easier if you have at least some money!  But if you have nothing, if you are struggling for every last thing – how can you feel respected?

Yet we are reminded that we are all made the same.  We all have the same needs, fundamentally anyone else is no different to us.  Which raises the question of how do we treat the poor?  Do we look down on them?  Or treat them as equals?

We all need food, warmth, shelter, hope and love.  How do we make that happen for those who need it?

Troublemakers get in trouble,
and their terrible anger
will get them nowhere.

The Lord blesses everyone
who freely gives food
to the poor.

Do we give to those who need it?  It’s coming up to the Harvest season, when we sometimes think about those who have less of a harvest than us.  But what about the rest of the year?  And what about those who have food and money, but lack other things?  How can we go about caring for them – as we show our commitment to God and his ways?  Do we give freely?

22 Don’t take advantage
of the poor
or cheat them in court.
23 The Lord is their defender,
and what you do to them,
he will do to you.

How would you want to be treated if you were the person in need?  Or if it were your children or parents?  I would want to feel that there would be love and care, people willing to go our of their way to help.  Is that how I behave to others?  Because that is what God asks of me?

Lord,

give me eyes to see,

and a heart to understand,

the needs that are all around.

Help me to give,

not just the easy things,

but of myself,

and what is really needed

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