God's Heart for the Poor

godsheartforthepoor“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’” – Matthew 25:40

Seeking to reflect the heart of Jesus, our new vision at Prince of Peace calls us to love all people, with special focus on people in poverty.

Our response to the needs of the poor is central to our being followers of Jesus. We’re called to charity, giving people what they need in the moment. We’re called to justice, confronting the systems that keep people in poverty and providing ways for people to become self-sustaining. And we’re called to love and acceptance. Mother Teresa once said, “The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.”

Our engagement with the poor, however, is not a one-way street. At its best it is a mutual relationship in which we all gain and grow. Those of us who are rich (and if you’re reading this, you’re rich by global standards) have much to learn from the poor. Here are just a few examples:

  • We can learn how to better manage money from the poor. You’d be amazed at how creative many poor people are with their money management.
  • We can learn how to find joy and abundance in the midst of seeming scarcity. I’ve met people who have startling little, only discover that they seem to experience more joy and gratitude than I do.
  • We can come to know Jesus more intimately as we come to know and love the poor. That’s Jesus’ promise.

Are there poor people in the world who abuse the system and take advantage of the charity of others? Of course. But they cannot become the excuse for our inaction. If we learn nothing else from Jesus it’s that love gives anyway.

Think you know what poverty in America looks like? You might be surprised. Check out this short video to learn more.

Does this sound like some liberal agenda to you? It is. It’s God’s agenda for us to be liberal with God’s love and God’s resources. If that isn’t a path you wish to walk you might want to consider whose path you’re actually following.

How do you reflect God’s heart for the poor? Leave a comment and share your experience.

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