Is it Better to be Poor? – Part 1
Scripture Reading: Luke 14:12-14
Key Verse: James 2:5
Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?
There is a great debate that has gone on for many years about the Bible’s attention to the poor. Is it better to be poor, according to the Bible? Jesus gave a lot of attention to the poor, which might make us think that poor is better than rich in God’s eyes.
In the suggested additional reading for today, Luke tells the story of when Jesus said to a rich person who was putting on a banquet: “…invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous” (Luke 14:13-14). Jesus had pointed out that if the rich person invited just his friends, relatives, or rich neighbors, they can afford to invite you back and repay the invitation.
God is watching not only what we do, but why we do it. As the Apostle James has been warning us, we must be careful about favoritism. Favoritism has bad motives; it looks at what can come back to help us. If I show a rich person special treatment, I may be given something back. Jesus’ story in Luke reminds us to work hard at doing good to those who truly can’t repay us.
Our behavior reveals our inner judgments about people. If we show special treatment to the rich and ignore the poor, that reveals an immature judgment about the value of all people. (Continued)
Father, I want to be spiritually mature in the way I treat people. Please give me wisdom in this area. In Jesus’ name, amen.