Life Lessons: Generosity towards the Poor

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Life Lessons

Generosity towards the Poor

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The book of Proverbs has much to say about the consequences of laziness producing poverty. The Proverbs also speak of those who may be poor because of circumstances beyond their control and the moral responsibility of those who are more fortunate to help those who are less fortunate.

Points to Build On

1. A person who is gracious and favorable to the poor will find happiness.

Proverbs 14:20-21 Proverbs 14:20-21 [20] The poor is hated even of his own neighbor: but the rich has many friends. [21] He that despises his neighbor sins: but he that has mercy on the poor, happy is he.
American King James Version×
:  "The poor man is hated even by his own neighbor, But the rich man has many friends.  He who despises his neighbor sins; But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he."

2. To oppress or mock the poor is an offense against God.

Proverbs 14:31 Proverbs 14:31He that oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker: but he that honors him has mercy on the poor.
American King James Version×
:  "He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy."

Proverbs 17:5 Proverbs 17:5Whoever mocks the poor reproaches his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.
American King James Version×
:  "He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished."

Proverbs 19:17 Proverbs 19:17He that has pity on the poor lends to the LORD; and that which he has given will he pay him again.
American King James Version×
:  "He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay back what he has given."

3. Those that show generosity towards the poor will be blessed.

Proverbs 22:9 Proverbs 22:9He that has a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he gives of his bread to the poor.
American King James Version×
:  "He who has a generous eye will be blessed, For he gives of his bread to the poor."

4. Those that refuse to be generous towards the poor will receive curses.

Proverbs 21:13 Proverbs 21:13Whoever stops his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.
American King James Version×
:  "Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard."

Proverbs 22:16 Proverbs 22:16He that oppresses the poor to increase his riches, and he that gives to the rich, shall surely come to want.
American King James Version×
:  "He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches, And he who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty."

Proverbs 28:8 Proverbs 28:8He that by usury and unjust gain increases his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.
American King James Version×
:  "One who increases his possessions by usury and extortion gathers it for him who will pity the poor."

Proverbs 28:27 Proverbs 28:27He that gives to the poor shall not lack: but he that hides his eyes shall have many a curse.
American King James Version×
:  "He who gives to the poor will not lack, But he who hides his eyes will have many curses."

5. To oppress or steal from the poor is a sin.

Proverbs 22:22 Proverbs 22:22Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
American King James Version×
:  "Do not rob the poor because he is poor, Nor oppress the afflicted at the gate..."

Proverbs 28:3 Proverbs 28:3A poor man that oppresses the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaves no food.
American King James Version×
:  "A poor man who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain which leaves no food."

6. Those who seek God's righteousness consider the reasons why someone might be poor.  The unrighteous look down upon all those who are poor.

Proverbs 29:7 Proverbs 29:7The righteous considers the cause of the poor: but the wicked regards not to know it.
American King James Version×
:  "The righteous considers the cause of the poor, But the wicked does not understand such knowledge."

Application

Generosity doesn't mean to put yourself in poverty to help others who are poor.  Neither does it mean to support poverty that is due to laziness or unrepentant sin.

Generosity is a willingness to help others who are less fortunate, or in need, without expectation of reward or payback.