One thing we can all agree on is that there are poor people who need to be cared for by the church. We may not be able to agree on much, but the responsibility to care for those who are down and out rests on those of us who have been blessed with much. The need is great and only growing, and we are commanded to address the need. We need to remember the poor.
They asked only that we would remember the poor, which I had made every effort to do.”
Agree On One Thing
This command comes at the end of a contentious discussion. The Jews were demanding that the Gentiles get circumcised and follow the law of Moses and Paul was coming against that Old Testament thinking. When they finally agreed that the Gentiles didn’t need to do that they wrote a letter which they ended with Remember the Poor. This shows us that not everyone is going to agree in the church, but we can agree on this.
The church should be the most prominent advocate for those who are poor. Within the American church, we have the resources to wipe out poverty in our country and many others, but we’ve become selfish. In Corinth, the poor were being left out while the rich were gluttonous. Today, many Christians walk by the poor without even noticing them because they have become desensitized to them. Jesus told us that we care for the least of these; we are caring for Him.
Give Them a Hand Up
The church should be giving the poor a hand up, not a handout. A hand out gives the poor something like food or money without anything to help them get out of their situation. Their stomach may be full, or their bill may get paid, but they are still in the same situation. We need to take the necessary steps to help them get out of their poverty. Some will resist because they have grown accustomed to handouts, but we still need to help those who want to rectify their situation. Don’t forsake those in need. Remember the poor.
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