PASTOR'S PEN: Who should help the poor?

It's that political time of year when division is based on a secret ballot. Trump or Sanders? Clinton or Cruz? Whomever you vote for will cause some sort of separation from others. One of the hot topic issues is whether the government is responsible for helping those in poverty. This article won't answer that for the government, but what about you? Are you responsible to help those that are going through a tough time, born into poverty or somehow suppressed? Let's see what the Bible has to say.

One of my favorite passages on this topic is Galatians 6:7-10. I won't quote the entire thing, but it does say this, "God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows." God knows what's going on and will bring the consequences or benefits of your actions. Don't think you can trick Him. He says the same about doing good: "...at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." God will reward doing good to others. But to whom should I do good? Let's see,

"Therefore (because what you plant you harvest and God is watching), as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." (emphasis added)

So God wants you, if you are a follower of Christ, to do good to everybody — friend or enemy, Christian or non-Christian, Democrat or Republican, etc. Don't stop doing good. Romans 13:8 says it this way, "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another..." This means you should always show love. There's no time you will ever have shown so much love that you can say you're done showing love.

Now there are those who have more needs than others and may require extra help. In Bible times, and probably today as well, widows and orphans had an extra difficult time. They couldn't supply for themselves and wouldn't be able to pay back any loan given. So God says this in James 1:27, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

God wants you, if you are a Christ-follower, to care for those who will never be able to pay you back. You are to use your income to help them. Ephesians 4:28 says it this way, "...steal no longer, but...work, doing something useful with your own hands, that you may have something to share with those in need." You are to work and use what you work for to help others who are in need.

I have no idea what the government will do, but whether they decide to help others or not, your responsibility and mine, as followers of Jesus Christ IS to help others in need. Don't let what Washington does or doesn't do keep you from your responsibility: doing good to all people.