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Bible Verses on Helping the Poor

In our current economy, people are needing more and more help just to keep on keeping on, as they say. It's hard to lend a helping hand sometimes and inspirational Bible verses and quotes on the subject are great because it can give you the extra push to do the right thing. Below I've listed my favorite Bible verses on helping the poor and how the verses effected my life. The first inspirational verse on the subject is one I've always loved from the book of Proverbs:

"Rescue those being lead away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say 'But we knew nothing about this,' does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it?" - Proverbs 24:11-12

It would be so much easier to just turn a blind eye to the suffering, oppression, and fear going on in the world around us. There's so much evil and grief happening to people in the world today, especially to children, that sometimes it can all seem so overwhelming. But how can we, in good conscience, just go on our merry way and not try and do anything to help another in need? Or should I love my neighbor as myself, as Jesus himself prescribed, spreading goodness where I can? God created our hearts for compassion. Here's another verse that's also from the same book of Proverbs.

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and the needy" - Proverbs 31:8-9

Can you imagine what the world would be like if people actually took Bible verses like this one to heart? Poverty and oppression would cease. Instead, we get so focused on our own ambitions and on our own problems. I really enjoy reading verses like this one because they get me focused on more than just myself and on things that are important beyond my own wants and needs. The next verse comes from the book Deuteronomy in the Old Testament, which isn't very widely read.

"If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs" Deuteronomy - 15:7-8

Wouldn't that be something? Especially now, in our current economic crisis, when money is tight and many have already gone bankrupt and broke. Human beings are always more important than possessions and money. The Bible has a very interesting model of how to deal with poverty. According to this verse and the general attitude of the Bible, lending to the poor, and even plain giving money to them without expecting it back is the proper way to live. Like this next verse from the New Testament says:

"He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need" - Ephesians 4:28.

Living at or beyond our means is a basic practice in American culture. People often spend all the money they take in, and at times, even more than what they earn, so that they have nothing left for anything else. But what would it be like if people saved money for the express purpose of being able to share what they have?

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