I think it’s obvious to say, but perhaps it needs to be restated, everyone should be kind to those in need. Sometimes we need to have a simple, brief reminder. Here are three verses from the book of Proverbs to read and reflect upon:
It is a sin to despise one’s neighbor,
but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy.
Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.Proverbs 14:31
Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord,
and he will reward them for what they have done. Proverbs 19:17
Imagine that you prayed for wisdom, and God granted your request. In a moment or over time, difficult concepts became easy to grasp. Nothing was beyond your understanding. But even better than that, you were able to articulate these things in such a way that everyone understood. If that’s you, your name must be Solomon. Read 1 Kings 3:1-15, especially verses 9 and 12, for the story of Solomon’s request and God’s response.
In his wisdom, and at his best, Solomon wrote down his thoughts in ways that anyone can understand. The verses cited above are among hundreds attributed to him as The Proverbs of Solomon. There are 250 single statements that weave a tapestry of wisdom between Proverbs 10:1-18:5 alone. Along with wisdom, Solomon became the wealthiest man on earth, perhaps of all time. He could have anything he wanted.
As I read the proverbs, I get a sense of calm assurance. There is no need to shout or get excited about being kind to someone. Indeed, that seems contrary to the point. But it’s not a condescending attitude either. I’m not being kind to someone walking into the Salvation Army, Clean Start, LOT Project, or Mercy Center because I’ve labeled them as poor. And I’m not being kind because “the Bible says so.” Solomon’s advice here is not to look down on someone; instead, it is to look directly at those in need and show kindness. This honors God.
There will come a day when all the trappings of this earth will fade away. We will find ourselves standing before the Maker without keys to a fancy car or bank account that overflows with money. We will stand before him, as it were, in our birthday suit. There, before the King, who will look poor? Who will look rich? No one. We are all the same in the eyes of the Lord.
It’s more than a wise saying. Only the richest can truly be kind–and we are rich, my friends, we are exceedingly wealthy. We are sons and daughters of the Highest King. Our inheritance dwarfs Solomon’s royal vault at it’s highest. While our earthly possessions may not reflect such a majestic appearance, our hearts should be filled with joy beyond measure. Let that joy overflow and bless someone the world has labeled as poor. Embrace the outcast.
May we be known as those who are kind to everyone.