1 Timothy 5:3-8 – “Honor widows who are really widows. 4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God. 5 Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. 6 But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. 7 And these things command, that they may be blameless. 8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” NKJV
America has become a Welfare Nation and the Church has largely divested itself of the responsibility of caring for the needy in far too many cases. The Bible is quite clear about whose responsibility it is to care for the needy. It is ours collectively as individuals and as a Church, not the Federal Government. But, to attempt to avoid being political in a devotional let me address what the Scripture says about caring for the needy.
We are told in Proverbs 19:17 – “He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, And He will pay back what he has given.” NKJV. Additionally, we see in Proverbs 28:27 – “He who gives to the poor will not lack, But he who hides his eyes will have many curses.” NKJV
In the passage above we find explicit directions for caring for widows who are truly widows. Paul goes on to say in verse 8 that anyone who will not care for those of his own family is worse than an unbeliever or as the KJV says “worse than an infidel.” Compare that to some politicians and public figures who have known families that they do not care for although they themselves are worth millions. That is not godly.
Paul wanted and believed that God wanted people to work for in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 – “…If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” NKJV God is not interested in us being lazy but diligently involved in being productive. He wants us to share that which we have with those who are less fortunate than ourselves, but the restriction is that if a person is lazy and refuses to work, they Get No Help and Get No Food! It won’t take long until they move out of that mentality if we put that policy into place.
As a believer, I should take care of the needy! The family should care for its own and the church should and could do the job that it has been commissioned to do. In doing so, I am totally convinced and have proven through the years that God will supply abundantly when this takes place.
It is high time that we, as believers, take up our mantle of responsibility and as leaders demand that biblical guidelines are followed not giving handouts to those who are unwilling to do anything to better themselves. We should be about “hand ups” not “handouts” per se. Anyone can fall on hard times and most of us have experienced that fate. Yet, most of us have been willing to work at any job to provide for ourselves and our families even if it was beneath our training or skill level and even if it was, in our view, demeaning. It was temporary!
Like Alan Jackson said in one of his songs, “I’ve shoveled manure till my pride hurt” just to get ahead. I’ve done many menial and lowly tasks to earn a dollar to buy food, clothes, gasoline, or pay a doctor bill for my children. I never felt that anyone owed me anything and that if I put forth an effort that God would come through on my behalf and He Always Has! It was not always in the way I expected it or in the time frame that I requested it but It Always Came Through!
Therefore, trust God and be willing to get your hands dirty if need be! Be a doer, not a taker! One day you will be in a position to be a giver as a result of your willingness to work and your willingness to help others.
God bless you as you go through your day!