“THE righteous care about justice for the poor; but the wicked have no such concern.” (Proverbs 29:7).
What a confronting statement.
Apparently, the way we treat the poor is telling.
God takes special note.
Those on God’s side are the ones standing alongside the poor.
Consequently, anyone who disregards the vulnerable is taking an ungodly posture. That thought is pretty sobering.
As I was reflecting on this Scripture, my mind quickly jumped towards Christmas, and how we in the west may choose to celebrate it.
Christmas could be the perfect opportunity to show compassion for the disadvantaged.
Yet so often in my own experience, I have missed that opportunity.
Instead I’ve been preoccupied with gifts that I really have no need for, and yet happily receive.
I’ve done this for years, with little or no concern for those less fortunate.
I find it effortless to get caught up in the cycle of ‘me, myself, and I’ and have low regard for those who are in the deepest need.
December is a bumper time to be in retail.
For more than 20 years, this is how I earned a crust.
Now that I’m outside the industry, I can see the consumerist mentality even more clearly.
The amount Australians spend at this time of year is bizarre.
However, I’m not selling out on my retail friends who still make their living from the boom Christmas season.
Our shopkeepers rely on a December spike, so please keep spending cash.
I’m not suggesting we drop off on spending.
I’d only want to prompt reflection on the who; not the what.
The ‘what’ is the Christmas spend, the ‘who’ is the recipient of our spending.
Could some of our hard-earned cash this Christmas go towards those who are needy?
I’m only encouraging thought about the spending habits changing, not the spending itself.
Local jobs need your support this year as much as ever.
Some will push back on this idea, and write me off as a killjoy who is against gift giving.
Well, I’m not.
I realise that gifts don’t always have to come out of necessity; there’s times to give and receive, purely for enjoyment.
It doesn’t have to always be need driven.
But in regards to joy, I’d still like to suggest that there’s actually a whole lot more to be found in giving than receiving.
This might be especially true if the recipient would otherwise go without.
This Christmas, one child may not place high value on receiving another doll or ball to add to their expansive collection.
But the child who doesn’t have a solitary one, they just might!
I’d urge you to take thought of the poor during the upcoming holiday season.
The Bible reckons that’s what God’s people do.
I’m aware that a number of local churches have Christmas appeals of sorts going on whereby one can donate.
Alternatively, check out the World Vision link below:
New Life Baptist Church