poor: Innocent or guilty?
SPRINGFIELD, MO. — Walking
the streets of New York City one night, I came upon a homeless man who was
lying on the sidewalk, bundled in a frayed blanket. His weathered and wrinkled
face seemed to speak of a wasted life — one bound by sin and victimized
by poor choices. But then he told me his story. He had lost his job and was
diagnosed with an illness. Without anywhere to turn, he landed on the streets
— poor, sick and without hope.
As I sat down beside him and gave
him something to eat, the Holy Spirit pricked my conscience. I had been too
quick to judge him. I was reminded that a believer’s duty is not to
ascribe blame but to acknowledge the need of men, women and children God puts
in our path — and do whatever we can to show them the love of Jesus.
Society today tends to categorize
the poor. The “innocent” are seen as the victims of unfortunate
circumstances. The “guilty” are viewed as victims of their own
poor choices. But Jesus looked directly at people’s need without trying
to categorize them. He didn’t focus on their past or their failures.
He was more interested in their future and their potential.
Jesus Christ can change any heart
and give anyone a bright future. He does so through the power of His redeeming
blood shed on a cross for lost humanity. But He also looks to those who follow
Him to put hands and feet to the truths of the gospel. Today is World Hunger
Day in the Assemblies of God, a day when our Fellowship tangibly acknowledges
that following Jesus requires that we reach out to the poor.
Hunger is a global problem that
cuts across every community. I fed one man in a large city. Your gift can
help feed a family or a child trying to survive in a small town or rural community.
And whether your gift reaches a need in this country or abroad, it will make
the love of Jesus and the truth of His Word just a little clearer to a hungry
— Hal Donaldson
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