why do we need to help the poor
Ive heard some ugly things said about homeless people. Things like: they rePjust lazy, they dont want to work, or they like living on the streets. I dont think saying these things are either truthful or helpful. And it sure isnt honoring to God as people are made in his image no matter what their living situation happens to be. Let s talk about what does honor God. Serving the poor always honors God. Have you ever wondered how you can make God happy or how can be sure you are doing Gods will? One sure way is by helping the poor. PHe who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. (NIV)
If you insult the poor, you are really insulting God. On the other hand, if you help and are kind to the the needy, you are really honoring God. This is important to understand. If you are sincerely serving the needs of the poor in a helpful and healthy way, you are honoring God and doing Gods will. PWhen our church takes a group of teenagers or adults on a mission trip to serve the poor, whether in a different country or right here in our home town, we always like to remind them that at that moment, this is exactly where God wants them to be. Because serving the poor honors God. Helping the poor isPalsoPgiving to God. It s important to give to God through your church. But that s not the only way to give to God. PHe who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done! (NIV) When you givePyour time, your energy and even your money to the poor, you are giving to God as well. Giving to the poor is like lending to God, because he will reward you in return. That doesn t mean he willPpay us back dollar for dollar for whatPwe give away. But he will reward us in non-monetary ways. Have you ever had a Pgreat, almost euphoric feeling after helping people in need? Its that awesome feeling you get when you know you just made a difference in someones life. This feeling sometimes comes from God as way for him to show us that what we are doing for others is really honoring to both them and to him. We dont serve others just to get this type of feeling. You should bePmotivated to help the poor just because it honors God. The best reward we can ever get is Heaven, which we get by believing in Jesus, not for anything we do.
P P P P P My family has always enjoyed sponsoring kids in other countries through World Vision or Compassion International. My wife and I think its important to teach our kids that sending money to an organization that is going to help a particular child is an important thing to do with our money. But we also want to make sure our kids understand that when we give money to a charity, we are also giving that money to God. P P P P P But what if you have are really hard time caring about the poor? Maybe you had a bad experience where Pyou tried serving the needy or helping the homeless. I know there are lazy and mean poor people, just like there are lazy and mean wealthy people. Ive served with different organizations that were really disorganized, so that our group had a not-so-good experience trying to help the needy. PBut you should never allow one bad experience keep to you from caring for the poor. You will have compassion for the poor if you really love God. Think about this question. Can you say you truly love God, but have no or little compassion for the poor? PIf someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother in need but shows no compassion how can Gods love be in that person? (NLT) According to this verse, the answer is no, you cant say you love GodPif you show no compassion for those in need. In other words, if you truly love God, you will love people like God loves people. PGod has a big loving heart towards the poor. Therefore, so should we. P P P P P This is not some feeling that we should have to fake or manufacture. If we sincerely Plove God, this love for others should naturally flow out of us. And when we love the poor like God loves the poor, then we should naturally have so much compassion for them that we would be more than willing to serve and give to those in need. P P P P P God asks us to do some pretty tough things. Things like forgive others, love our enemies, and as we see here, have compassion on the poor. But if we truly love God, all these things should slowly become more natural for us. So why should we help the poor? Because serving the poor honors God and helping the poor is giving to God. But what ties them all together is that our passion for God should express itself in compassion for those in need.
Set Up: Watch the video together or invite someone to. What are some ugly things people say about the poor or homeless? Do you think any of the things people say are true, and why? Read. How is complaining about poor people dishonoring to God? How is serving the needy honoring God? Do you think it is better to help the poor, and why? Read. How is giving any resource to the poor just like giving to God? Read. Do you agree or disagree with what John is saying, and why? If you dont have compassion for the poor, why would it be hard to believe you really love God? Why would you doubt someones compassion if they never go out and help those in need? Takeaway: Write a based on this conversation. P One might question whether we need ethics at all in the debate on global poverty, or whether the demand to help seems self-evident and the choice of particular actions should be left to specialists on developmental aid. In this chapter, it is argued that the answers are yes and no: No, because we can leave particular recommendations to experts once we know precisely what we should promoteБbut also yes, since we must know the exact end of our (demanded) action. Empirical poverty-research without specified ends is blind; it requires the prior identification and rational justification of particular ends. This, however, is the task of ethics because no empirical science can lead to normative insights. Since it is highly controversial whether philosophical reflection can provide such a justification, a transcendental argument is outlined: if there is something good, then it is good that the good is actively supported, and if a capability to do so is a necessary requirement for this support, then it is also good that human beings have this capability. Human freedom is the paramount capability to self-determine oneБs life and actions. It is an essential condition for supporting the good. It follows that a certain kind of freedom (namely the one necessary for supporting the good; here called Бmoral freedomБ) must be regarded as a necessary end for any morality. We are obliged to help others so that they can help. The chapter ends with showing in which way the end Бmoral freedomБ tells us why we should help the poor and can provide practical orientation for doing so.
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