Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbor. –Proverbs 19:4 The poor is hated even of his own neighbor: but the rich hath many friends. –Proverbs 14:20
What’s your price for association?
So what is our price before we associate with someone? We all have different perspectives of what makes someone “rich”; it could be monetary, it could be power, it could be popularity, etc. How many times do we not associate with someone, because they’re not like us or they’re not like who we think we should hang out with because we can’t gain anything from them? How many times in the work place do we snub people because they’re lower on the totem pole than us? How many times do we snub people because they don’t have as much money as us? How many times do we snub someone because personality wise they’re different and don’t fit the personality that we think is the “cool” personality?
How many opportunities do we miss out on because of this? Not to get political, but how many times could humbling ourselves and associating with someone that isn’t “rich” in the world’s eyes, could deter someone from doing a school shooting or to realize their life has value and not take it?
We miss out on a lot of opportunities to interact with some amazing people because we’ve categorized them into a group, and they’re not like us. We need to be reaching out to the world and showing them what it means to be a Christian. A few years ago the bracelets with WWJD (what would Jesus do) were popular. Jesus hung out with the poor and the sinners. Why? It wasn’t for popularity reasons, it’s because they needed Him. Two thousand years later, nothing has changed. We’re all sinners and we all need him, not matter where we fall in the economic, popularity, or power rankings.
The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it. –Proverbs 29:7
Concern For Others
Followers of Christ will share his concern that the poor be treated fairly and compassionately, and that they have opportunity to hear the gospel. We naturally look out for our own concerns or the concerns of our families, but it is easy for us to harden our hearts towards others. Many times we become selfish with our resources or time.
Judging A Book By Its Cover
We all have a tendency to judge those around us, especially ones that seem to not have as much as us. It can make us feel uncomfortable or we fill like we are a little better than them. Just because someone has less than us, doesn’t mean that their value is less than ours. We all could fall on hard times where money is tight, where we don’t know where our next mean will come. What someone looks like on the outside has very little to do with who they are as a person, which is the most important thing. Jesus did not shy away from the poor.
We need to be careful how we treat individuals, especially in our churches. The rich should be treated as the poor, as we all need Jesus. The rich man deserves hell just as the poor man does. We should remember that every soul needs saved no matter how the look.
Sometimes I think it bothers us to be around others less fortunate than us, because deep down it makes us vulnerable. It hurts the pride that we have in how we carry ourselves. We realize that sometimes how people treat us, is due to what persona we display. If we don’t dress a certain way people won’t like us. Our independence is also challenged, as there are situations outside of our control, and only God is truly in control. That eats away at our pride we harbor.
All The Same
We have to remember that we’re all created equally. We were all created by the same God, he loves us all equally. When we think of that, it’s convicting on how we treat each other. Someone that has hardly no money is loved by God just as much as the richest person. When we come across someone that’s on hard times, we need to remember we could easily be in that spot some day.