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Editor’s journey

The 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 soul.

— Hal Donaldson

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