Author Topic: The Poor  (Read 1106 times)

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Offline shawn

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The Poor
« on: November 15, 2010, 07:50:39 AM »
There is an area of my thought life I have really struggled with for a few years.  I know of our calling to help the poor.  But, are we called to enable sloth?  I have certain opinions on the matter which I don't always know are Christ-like.  Should we support the able bodied man who is unwilling to work?  I don't want this to turn into a political conversation but I would like some opinions supported by scripture. 

Thanks in advance.

Offline jabcat

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Re: The Poor
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2010, 07:57:22 AM »
I struggle with the same thing.  The first verse that comes to mind is, "if a man doesn't work he doesn't eat" (not sure where it's at or what the context is).  I also think of "if a man doesn't provide for his family he's worse than an infidel".  Yet I know many are not able to work or provide for themselves, as badly as they might want to do so -  whether it's mental, physical, or both - or even if they're a "victim of circumstances".  I think sometimes it may be hard to know who's able and who's scamming, but the hope would be that we're led by the Spirit;  and though scripture tells us to give/lend, not expecting return,  I would think some wisdom and being led by the Spirit is vital.  I need more of both.

« Last Edit: November 15, 2010, 08:17:36 AM by jabcat »

Offline shawn

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Re: The Poor
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2010, 08:33:32 AM »
Warning Against Idleness
 6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching[a] you received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat."   11 We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. 13 And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.

 14 Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. 15 Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.


I must agree with your thoughts on the subject.  But, it has hard for me to find peace with my views.


Quaesitor

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Re: The Poor
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2010, 02:35:39 PM »
I think idleness is slavery to the flesh and so we should pray for the delivrance of it and not just blame the other person for it.

Daniel33

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Re: The Poor
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2010, 03:39:49 PM »
I think when you're starting to set conditions for who you're going to help or not, you're going down a slippery slope.

Deut. 15:7. If there is a poor man among you, one of your brothers, in any of the towns of the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand to your poor brother; but you shall freely open your hand to him, and generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks.

Deut. 26:12. When you have finished paying the complete tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan and the widow, that they may eat in your towns, and be satisfied.

Is. 58:66ff. Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke? Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

Mt. 5:42. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

1 John 3:17. But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

Besides, judging poor people who don't work based on your extremely limited perception and insight into their situation and how they got there, is not a very loving and spiritually adept stance in my opinion.

Let God take care of the judging, our narrow minded perspective is not qualifed for that job.


Offline Beloved Servant

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Re: The Poor
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2010, 03:59:52 PM »


Jesus did not have a coin in His pocket to pay the Temple tax yet He is the richest man to walk the earth.

So, what truly is wealth?

Some of the poorest souls live in the grandest palaces.

We, as His brethren, give from the treasure of our heart which beats within the Spirit of God.

Offline Cardinal

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Re: The Poor
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2010, 04:54:03 PM »
 :cloud9: We have to be learn to hear and be led by the Spirit in all things. If you don't hear what to do specifically, I would always rather "err" on the side of mercy. But there are reasons and seasons why the LORD withholds the OBVIOUS blessings. My  :2c: Blessings....
"I would rather train twenty men to pray, than a thousand to preach; A minister's highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray." -H. MacGregor

Paul Hazelwood

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Re: The Poor
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2010, 05:53:05 PM »
There is an area of my thought life I have really struggled with for a few years.  I know of our calling to help the poor.  But, are we called to enable sloth?  I have certain opinions on the matter which I don't always know are Christ-like.  Should we support the able bodied man who is unwilling to work?  I don't want this to turn into a political conversation but I would like some opinions supported by scripture. 

Thanks in advance.

 The very general answer to your question is No,   We have no responsibility to help the lazy.   That said,  the harder part is determining who is lazy.  From my own personal life, I have helped people that I did not know that asked for money because thats simply when I thought I should do.   If I know and confront someone personally who then demonstrated laziness, then they will not get my help.

I know too many people who work sick and ill and tough life out,  if I know you in person it will be hard to fool me for long.  ;)

But that's my life.   I will leave political type comments out of this since you didn't want to go there.  :)


Offline Lefein

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Re: The Poor
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2010, 06:55:35 PM »
I had a very wise art teacher once tell me that giving is between you and God, what the homeless guy does with the money you give him is between him and God.
CLV: Proverbs 10:12 Hatred, it rouses up quarrels, Yet love covers over all transgressions.
KJV: Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.

Quaesitor

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Re: The Poor
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2010, 07:05:14 PM »
I had a very wise art teacher once tell me that giving is between you and God, what the homeless guy does with the money you give him is between him and God.

True

LS

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Re: The Poor
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2010, 01:05:39 AM »
I had a very wise art teacher once tell me that giving is between you and God, what the homeless guy does with the money you give him is between him and God.
I love that Lefein.

I try to live by the rule, "As much as you are able, give to those who ask," based on Matthew 5:42 and Luke 6:30.  If someone asks and I'm able to give, I give as generously as I can.

That lets you off the hook a little though - if someone doesn't ask there is less of a feeling of obligation.  Then, I try to just listen to the LORD; sometimes He does the asking.  :)

Offline thinktank

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Re: The Poor
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2010, 01:19:50 AM »
Be carefull though, be a wise steward Jesus said. Some pastors fleece the flock and rob his people, there are poor people who also do the same, who spend their money on drugs, alcahol etc. If one gives them money they are in effect giving them drugs, such as that pastor who gave heroin to the person.


Offline shawn

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Re: The Poor
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2010, 03:04:18 AM »
Thanks everyone, this is exactly what I was looking for.  I figured there would be many different thoughts on the subject.  I find it very easy for me to get up on a soap box about not enabling sloth, and addiction through money the Lord has handed me.  That feels very ill to my spirit...it feels prideful.  This is an area where I believe the Lord wants to move in my life.  My prayer is that he has his way in me.