Scripture: Deuteronomy 15:11 – Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, “Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.”
Reflection: I’ve struggled over the last few weeks with not having anything to share. As I completed my contemplative writing for a class, I realize how much I’m frustrated with the inequality between the wealthy and, well, the rest of us. Just a quick google search (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/jan/21/world-26-richest-people-own-as-much-as-poorest-50-per-cent-oxfam-report (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.) tells us that 26 of the world’s wealthiest people own as much as 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of the planet’s population.
How does this happen?
While I don’t believe God requires His followers to live in poverty, and give away all of our earthly possessions, I do believe He requires us to share with the less fortunate. I could go on all day about how much money mainstream preachers pull in every month, but I would rather see how much money they give away to fight poverty. How much money do they intentionally give away to causes that take care of the disenfranchised?
I don’t mean to pick on preachers, but my question is valid. And not only for those who have an overabundance of money and things, but how are we practicing selfless giving regularly? I may not have as much as someone else, but I’m sure I have enough to share with someone who doesn’t have anything. I may not be able to reach across the world, but I can reach next door. I may not have a million dollars to donate but I can donate clothes, a hot dinner, a hug, encouragement and time, to someone who is in need. This may seem small to us, but it will be a big deal to someone else.
We may ask ourselves, “how can one person change the world?” There are many things we can do, as individuals, to make a difference. We can start where we are and find one thing we can do, every month, to change someone’s life. Someone who can’t repay us. I can make that promise – and I’m going to recruit other people who can make that promise, too – and together we will begin to effect change in our small parts of the world.
Prayer: God, thank You for helping me to find a need I am able to meet. Help me today, and the days to come, to be more aware of what I can do to help others. Help me to open up my hands to the poor and needy in our land. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.