If possible take a moment to read through Deuteronomy chapter 15. Through this chapter God speaks about the regular seven year release of the debts and about ministry to the poor that are around us. As God speaks to the Israelites He is not just speaking about things to be done, but there is a strong underlying tone of guarding our hearts. We are to be certain that our hearts are always generous to those in need, that we do not judge people because of their poverty and then withhold when we have the opportunity and the ability to help them. There is the caution that we do not hold tightly to things that we possess. Take note of the following verses:
Vs 1: “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts.”
Vs7: ” you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother,”
Vs 8: “you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need,”
Vs 9: “Beware lest there be a wicked thought in your heart,”
Vs 10: “You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him,”
Vs 11: “therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.’”
Vs 13: when releasing an indebted servant it says, “when you send him away free from you, you shall not let him go away empty-handed; … shall supply him liberally ….”
It is easy to justify withholding resources from people in situations of their need, to see the mistakes that people have made, to be critical of their conduct or their addictions or their wasteful practices. God’s challenge is that our hearts would always look at individuals with a sensitive and caring heart and not a judgmental and condescending heart. God in His great mercy looked down upon us poor wretched individuals and provided help for us. We, too, are to do the same for others.
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your mercy to us. Help us to have a kind and generous heart towards others.