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I'll be the first to admit that it's not always easy to feel compassion for some folks in some situations but having said that, I'm not proud of that kind of exclusivity when it crops up in my mind and heart. It could well be that you, like me, were raised with the puritan work ethic that basically disregards other circumstances, putting the onus for supporting ourselves squarely upon ourselves.
Although the book of Proverbs connects hard work with positive results: ("The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty." 21:5; "There is desirable treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise but a foolish man squanders it." 21:20 and definitely admits that laziness or dishonesty can lead even to poverty, "Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished but he who gathers by labour will increase." 13:11; "...idle chatter leads only to poverty." 14:23), an important message in this book is the need to cultivate hearts of compassion.
For example, Solomon promises that to share with those in need brings God's blessings upon us: "He who has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor" (22:9). An even sterner word is found in the same chapter: "Do not rob the poor because he is poor, nor oppress the afflicted at the gate for the Lord will plead their cause and plunder the soul of those who plunder them."
Living with genuine compassion for others isn't a guarantee of our gaining personal wealth but there is a promise of God's provision and blessings. No amount of money can buy those! Am I always compassionate? Generous? Understanding? Sadly, not always but my heart's desire is to honour God by cultivating compassion for others in need while letting Him be judge.
Jan. 22, 2018