In his book Open Your Hand Wide, American Poverty, Welfare and the Power of Christian Compassion, (2012 Deep River Books) author W.J.Daubney examines the historical and spiritual context of poverty and welfare, and challenges believers and the church to demonstrate the love of God to a lost and hurting population of poor, right here in America.
This is the third excerpt from Chapter One which is outlining the Six Spiritual Premises of Poverty. The two previous excerpts spoke to the first three of these premises.
" Fourth, God commanded us to help people in need (Galatians 6:9-10;James 1:22, 2-6; Matthew 22:39). He allows poverty so our hearts can be broken, softened, molded and shaped into the likeness of His heart, which is tender toward the difficult, different, and disgusting."
For many of us caring for people who are poor can be very challenging. Our prejudices, pre-conceived thoughts, fears and opinions and our experiences may send up lots of red warning flags. However, our reactions are more often than not driven by our emotions. This is where we need to examine ourselves. God never tells us to let our "feelings" dictate our actions to care for the poor, but rather we should let our hearts lead us. That is why He wants them softened so we look more and more like Jesus. Give Him permission to do a work in your heart and you will find the rewards to be greater than you ever expected.