Proverbs 28:27 (NLT)
Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed.
How often do you think about poor people…or impoverished people groups…or entire nations struggling with poverty? Sure, we usually notice the people on the side of the road or at the bottom of the off-ramp who are asking for food or money, but do we actually consider their plight? Do you ever wonder how they ended up there? Do you ever consider the fact that they used to be a child, full of hopes and dreams? Our thoughts, words, and actions with respect to the poor are impactful on our own lives because God sees all three and responds accordingly.
We can never lose when we give to the poor. Even if the recipient of your generosity uses it to buy alcohol or drugs, their sin has no impact on your blessing. Sure, if you know for a fact that your charity is being used illicitly then enabling that is not only bad stewardship, but unloving. However, if you have no such knowledge then just be charitable and give! Resist the temptation to think mathematically…because God acts supernaturally and, in your favor, when you give to the poor (Ps. 41:1-2).
Shooting the lock off your wallet when it comes to how much you give to the poor and needy is one thing, while paying no attention to them AT ALL is quite another. Pastor Tim Keller once said in a sermon on the subject that, “If you are not regularly giving some consideration to the poor and needy, you should probably question whether or not you are actually born again.” Such is the clear teaching throughout Scripture on the heart of God for the poor. If you “close your eyes” to something that is so near and dear to the Lord, how can you expect His blessings? Worse yet, you can expect to be cursed – you will live with far less than what God actually wants to give you.
In the story of the Good Samaritan (Lk. 10:25-37), there was a Priest and a Levite who SAW the plight of the crime victim lying beaten and bloody on the side of the road, yet they chose to do nothing. It was not just a lack of generosity, but a willful disregard to care for their neighbor, and thus a rather strident violation of God’s command to do so. We may struggle with how to react to the needs of the poor, but God help each one of us if we choose to simply close our eyes to their very existence.