Tag Archives: poor

Just Like Me

We’re all made by God.
The rich,
the poor
are all the same
under their surroundings,
if we aren’t taken in
by looks,
or our standards,
or the rhetoric
of those
who don’t care for
the “other”.

We all have the same needs
a place to call home.

So why
do we think
we can be down
on those
whose life circumstances
have not been as ours?
Walk by them,
ignore them,
hurl abuse at them,
or question their rights?

Have we walked in their shoes?
Lived with what they have lived with?
Then we have no right
to pontificate

and every duty to help.

‘These people’*
as we are so keen to call them,
to keep them separate,
not like me
are actually just like me
and could be me,
or any one of my loved ones,
should life take one
slightly different turn.

And so I am called
to reach out,
to share,
to treat justly,
to love,
to bring hope.

Because I should treat them
as I would want God
to treat me.

* ‘These people’ are humans, with stories, lives, loves, fears.  They are people running from atrocity, from home lives we couldn’t imagine, from situations we have been a part of making.  They are people for whom risking life and limb is a better choice than where they are, where living on the street is better than any place they may have been living, where leaving their country is safer than staying there, where their life cirumstances have made them what they are and not the other way round. These are people, real people.  People just like you and me.
We should be ashamed if we treat them with anything other than respect and love, and don’t do all we can to bring them hope – that is what God requires of us.

Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23 (CEV)

The Value of a Good Reputation

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.


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

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


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.

Praising God = Working With Him

Psalm 113 (CEV)

The Lord Helps People in Need

113 Shout praises to the Lord!
Everyone who serves him,
    come and praise his name.

Let the name of the Lord
    be praised now and forever.
From dawn until sunset
    the name of the Lord
    deserves to be praised.
The Lord is far above
    all of the nations;
    he is more glorious
    than the heavens.

No one can compare
    with the Lord our God.
His throne is high above,
    and he looks down to see
    the heavens and the earth.
God lifts the poor and needy
    from dust and ashes,
    and he lets them take part
    in ruling his people.
When a wife has no children,
    he blesses her with some,
and she is happy.
    Shout praises to the Lord!

We might be less than good at helping the needy.  But we find here that God needs them, God uses them, God lifts them.

However joyful this Psalm seems, praising God is not just about being happy and singing lovely songs.  We can’t read it in isolation. It’s not about ignoring what is going on around us.  We praise God as much with our actions.  It is joining with him, working for others, that they are lifted from their despair.

Is that the kind of worship we can take part in?

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?


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