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Proverbs 17:5 (NKJV) He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.

A lot of people are skeptical about the “poor” today (in Western culture) and for good reason. Our culture has created an entire class of “poor” that are rich beyond belief compared to the TRULY POOR of the world today or the TRULY POOR of history.

Our “poor” have iPhones, flat screen TV’s, cigarettes, tattoos, fancy tire rims, designer clothes and expensive game consoles. Add that to the buffet of government handouts and its often hard to feel charitable towards our entitlement-minded “poor”.

But… what about the truly poor?   Widows without family and no income? Orphans? Families whose financial lives have been destroyed by a catastrophic illness or injury? The husband/father who is working three jobs very hard to feed his family but through no fault of his own simply cannot make a higher income? The genuinely disabled (as opposed to our millions of “disabled by lifestyle choices”)?

Our attitude towards the authentic poor, the truly destitute, says a lot about our heart. When we lack compassion towards them it reveals that we are not thankful the Lord has chosen to bless us, for all we have that is good comes from God. When we laugh at those who suffer true poverty, we invite retribution from the Lord who disdains such haughtiness and pride.  When we simply don’t care about the poor (never even think about them or notice them) it exposes a lack of spiritual maturity that acknowledges God’s grace (because any one of us could be truly poor by the end of the day due to some catastrophic event).

Think It Over: It is a real skill and exercise of maturity today to judge which “poor” truly deserve your help as opposed to simply enabling and encouraging laziness, victimhood and the entitlement mentality. Whenever the opportunity to be generous towards the truly poor presents itself, don’t hesitate, and be generous. The Lord sees and will bless you for it.