Proverbs 18
Proverbs 20

Proverbs 19

Cardboard

Will You Lend To The Lord?

Scripture

Proverbs 19:17

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord,
    and he will reward them for what they have done.

Observation/Understanding

Throughout this chapter there are several proverbs that point to the fact that the poor are often alone. Complete strangers try to hang around the rich, but even the closest family members desert the poor. This proverb tells us that if we show kindness to the poor, it accomplishes much more than just blessing the poor person. It’s hard to wrap our minds around but, whenever we are kind to the poor, we are actually offering kindness to God himself!

The language here is strong. Solomon goes far enough to say that we are lending to the LORD. And he will pay us back, rewarding us for what we’ve done. What the reward is isn’t specified. But one thing we can be sure of is that our God, who overflows with love and is the source of every good and perfect gift, will reward us well! (for deeper understanding of this reward, check out Matthew 25:31-46)

God convicted me a few years ago about my tendency to judge instead of give. “That person with the cardboard sign looks like they’ll probably spend this money on their addiction, so I’m not going to give.” Our job isn’t to determine someone’s worthiness of our gift, our job is to give! We won’t be rewarded for what the poor do in response to our kindness, we will be rewarded simply for the kindness we show. If you still struggle with feeling like you are enabling someone's addiction, I suggest having either $5 McDonalds gift cards or granola bars and waters in your car so that you always have something to give.

Life Application

Lend to the Lord by showing kindness to the poor!

Lord, your heart is for the poor. I’m always desiring to please you, but sometimes miss the opportunities you give me because I don’t recognize them. May I view every poor person through your eyes of love, and may I not pass up an opportunity to show both them and you, kindness. Amen.

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