Saturday, July 11

Poverty Came to Visit


Poverty kicked in my front door one day and made himself at home. He remained an unwelcome resident for many years. Embarrassment rode in on his coattail.

His friends heard of his new home and, like a troop of vultures, congregated in my living room, chasing away all my friends. He invited Depression and Tears to be his all too frequent guests. Hunger became his constant sidekick while Lack and Need acted as his devoted followers. Deprivation became a thorn in my side.

They all loved to laugh at me.

Have you ever felt like this? Have you ever had lack thrust upon you? Or have you ever overspent and gotten yourself into a mess? Has your job been threatened or lost?

As the economy has taken a nosedive, causing many to face unemployment, the chance of lack knocking on more doors has become increasingly feasible.

So, if job loss comes knocking on the door of one of our friends or neighbors, what do we do?


How do we, as Christians, treat that one whose life has been depleted of home, car, or other belongings? Are we supportive and encouraging? Are we sensitive to their feelings? Do we offer a helping hand? Or are we negative in our responses, ignoring them as if they were contagious?

Paul said, “Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another.” (Rom. 13:8a Amp) If God is love, what is the essence of His love? Giving! So, if our hearts are filled with the love of God, we will desire to supply the needs of others, to imitate Him, in whatever way we can.

Giving brings a reward.


Solomon wrote, “He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will reward him for what he has done.” (Prov. 19:17 NIV)

When Jesus instructed the multitude on the mount, He said, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38 NKJV) This scripture is not restricted to money; it encompasses all of life. In whatever way you give, it will come back to bless you. However, we do not give to get.

What can you do to help someone experiencing financial difficulties? If you cannot afford a monetary gift, why not give the gift of your time? Here are a few suggestions…

* Leave groceries on a widow’s doorstep.
* Pay for an elderly person’s medicine at the drugstore.
* Baby-sit for the couple who are working multiple jobs.
* Pay for the gas of one whose car is held together with bumper stickers.
* Make a mortgage or rent payment for a struggling, single mother or father.
* Buy Christmas presents for a battered wife and her children living in a shelter.
* Write a note or letter of encouragement and tell them you’ll be praying for them.
* When you are shopping at the mall, pay for the shoes of a teenager of a different race.
* Buy gift certificates or pre-paid credit cards and give them to whomever the Spirit leads.
* Pay for the meal of those in the car behind you in a drive-through restaurant and maybe put a note with it.
* The next time you are in line at the grocery, pay the bill for the woman with a baby on her hip and food stamps in her hand.
* Use your imagination. Better still, listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit; He will tell you who needs a word of encouragement or gift.

What else can you do to help others?
If you have any suggestions of things you have done or of thoughts you might have, please share them.

~Lord, may I not hinder meeting the need of anyone by mismanaging the funds you allow in my life. Nudge me however sharply is necessary to get my attention that I might do what I can to help someone in need. As I give out, replenish my lack that I might supply others’ needs once again. Amen~

~~Blessings, Lynn~~
35 Responses
  1. I'm in total agreement Lynn. Thank You Father God for using Lynn to get Your message out. In Jesus' name, amen.


  2. Sita Says:

    Sensitive and relevant...needs to be told to a wider audience...
    Love, Sita


  3. Anonymous Says:

    I wish this was how people treated one another, but in this country so often described as Christian, I hear so many mean-spirited things hurled at those who have hit upon hard times. "Get a job!" seems to be the only thing many people are capable of offering, with generous helpings of judgment and spittle. I don't know why so many people react this way; do they not think it can happen to them?


  4. lynnmosher Says:

    Thank you so much, Kimberly! Bless you!


  5. lynnmosher Says:

    Sita, Thank you so much. And thanks for planting an idea in my ol' noggin! Bless you!


  6. lynnmosher Says:

    Anonymous, All you said is so true. It is a deep shame that some in the body of Christ behave in such a mean-spirited manner. Breaks my heart! Thank you for taking time to read this and leave a comment. I deeply appreciate it. May the Lord bless you!


  7. I'm going to work on some of these Lynn. Thank you for the ideas.


  8. lynnmosher Says:

    Thanks so much, Phyllis! So glad you stopped by and left a comment. Blessings to you!


  9. JoJo Tabares Says:

    This was so precious. I have been in both positions before and I much prefer to be the one who gives. I try to whenever I can.


  10. Dawn Wilson Says:

    I was looking for some practical ideas ... Thank you for listing a bunch of them! I recently made up some baggies for my car's glove compartment with a personally-created testimony tract, a food bar, and a couple of dollars (to share with street-people). When we are "ready," the Lord can use us on the spot!


  11. Just this morning, in the adult Sunday School class that I teach, we were discussing having our group throw a baby shower for unwed moms and moms-to-be. Our desire is to reach out beyond the 4 walls of our church to share the love of Christ with the needy in the community.


  12. smdavid Says:

    There's a good ebook that's free to help pastors and their wives with discouragement and burnout. You can find it at
    http://www.stoppastorburnout.com. It's quite helpful.


  13. For me now, the most frustrating aspect of lack is not being in a position to help others as much as I'd like. Maybe if that had always been my chief concern, I wouldn't have wasted money when I had it. I'm so thankful God gives us more than one chance to get it right.


  14. Lynn, this was more than just a nice article for me, today. My neighbor lost his job three weeks ago. We found out about it last Firday.

    Since I am handicapped and Mother is 90 years old, we have many small jobs that we cannot do. I am now paying our neighbor to do them for me.

    My church has a school supply give away program on August 1st. I told him about that program so that their children will be ready to start school.

    We are giving them money to help buy groceries.

    Most of all, Mother and I are praying for him to find a new job. We asked him to give us the specifics of the job he wants - industry, job type, salary range, benefits, etc. Now we are praying for God to provide the perfect job within those parameters. That way we will know when God answers the prayer.

    He wanted to repay me the money I gave him. I told him to "pay it forward." When I was in his shoes, people helped me get through it. Now I am repaying them by helping him. I never want to forget how God used my friends and family to provide for us when we could not provide for ourselves.

    Thanks, Lynn.


  15. Sylvia Says:

    Lynn, you write with power and sensitivy and from experience I know. The Lord bless you. Certainly a word in season for us all. Like Dawn's idea of the baggies.


  16. Heath Vercher Says:

    Hi Lynn. Heath here. I'm becoming a regular reader of your posts, and wanted to thank you for the message. I am in agreement that more can be done for our brothers and sisters who are in need.

    Thank you for reading with sustenance!

    Heath


  17. Gigi Says:

    And I read your new entry after a day full of tears and think I have so much to be thankful for. I love the metaphorical way you introduced the subject too!

    Last year I adopted a 13-year-old for the beginning of the school year and purchased everything she needed to return to school. It became a family affair and when it was all said and done we provided her with everything on her required and recommended list. I was even able to give her some clothes.

    They later returned to my office and presented me with the sweetest thank you card and vanilla scented candle.

    May we always be grateful for what we have and may we be willing to share. Matthew 25:40b (KJV) "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."


  18. "I wish I was in the position to give more" is where I am at as well. I probably would be described by many as a very giving person. I am not a Mother Theresa by any means, but I do believe this is my calling in spreading the love of Jesus Christ. I don't believe that you have to use the word "Christian" to get his message across.

    I am always trying to figure out ingenuous ways to make a difference in others' lives and inviting my friends/acquaintances to be a part of my newest goodwill mission. I have found most people's hearts are in the right place, they just need some ideas like this great post.

    I was raised in a wealthy family and as young children we were instructed to tell anybody that asked for donations, "My father gives at the office." Sadly, their insensitivity and selfishness taught me a lot about life...even with all the money and monetary possessions that one could ever want in this world, there was always still these feelings of emptiness. From my personal experiences, I've found that it means much more to give than receive. Thanks Lynn for sharing what's truly important, especially during such tough economical times!


  19. lynnmosher Says:

    JoJO, I've been in both place also and I agree...I much prefer to be the giver, too. Thanks so much for your comment! Bless you!


  20. lynnmosher Says:

    Dawn, Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Glad you found some suggestions and I love the one you mentioned. Great idea! Bless you!


  21. lynnmosher Says:

    Susan, Isn't it cool how God orchestrates the timing of certain things? And what a great idea your class chose. Cool! May the Lord bless the project.


  22. lynnmosher Says:

    smdavid, Thanks so much for taking time to read and comment. Blessings to you!


  23. lynnmosher Says:

    Diane, I truly understand. It always breaks my heart when I see someone that definitely needs something and I cannot do absolutely nothing. May the Lord bless you that you may bless another.


  24. lynnmosher Says:

    Lynnda, What a blessing you are to your neighbor. This is exactly what I talking about. May the Lord bless you!


  25. lynnmosher Says:

    Sylvia, Thank you for those precious words. I am deeply humbled and honored. Bless you!


  26. lynnmosher Says:

    Heath, I am so honored to have you as a reader. Thank you so much for your kind words. May the Lord bless you!


  27. lynnmosher Says:

    Dearest Gigi, I deeply appreciate your words...always! Your act of giving is a great idea. How sweet that you received such a precious thank you. Blessings to you!


  28. lynnmosher Says:

    JoAnne, I know you to be a giving person and I'm glad you overcame the learned attitudes of your youth. The Lord planted that giving attitude in your heart and it shows. Bless you!


  29. lineblack Says:

    I am surprised at the suggestions that you give for people to help. I never see anyone with a baby on their hip and food stamps. Yet I have many neighbors, although working a job and sometimes 2, still run short. Although I have nothing at all, I gladly help them when I can.

    Babysitting the people working 2 jobs is great but sometimes it means more to the person not working. At home all day with the kids, stressed and crying away from them in the bathroom trying to figure a way out

    Paying for shoes of a child of any race I find helps. Not every person "looks" poor or as if they are having a hard time. Most go through great lengths to appear to the public that they are doing fine. I have many of these call me when they park their nice cars in the driveways of their nice house that they are 3 payments behind on.

    I think if you are going to help, just help period. I ask everyone daily to do just one act of kindness for a HUMAN BEING (not bashing animals but right now I rather feed a hungry child then a hungry dog) I teach my kids to help any person of any age, of any race in whatever way God has blessed them to do so

    I am glad you are encouraging people to help but know what you are saying. Its very racial and discriminating. I have seen your words and know taht is not what you mean. Yet you have to know how your words impact the virgin eye. A person that might be quite capable of helping someone pay a morgage who is not battered but just lost their job, lost a cut in wages, or just having a hard time and can use the help just as much


  30. Hi Lynn!

    I've been meaning to respond to this blog when I first read it a few days ago. This is something that's been on my heart for quite some time. I have been thinking of ways I can reach out my hand in service to others. You know, after I had my baby girl, the sweetest women from my church came by to bring meals. I did not expect those acts of kindness. But, they were sweet enough to bring food. Lord knows it was truly helpful- in fact, right on time, during a tough time for us financially. I thank God for people with a servant heart and absolutely love the scriptures you used for this blog.

    Thank you so much for being so sweet and endearing with your words. You bring such a light to the blog world!

    @lineblack, I think you really missed the point to this post. Lynn gave excellent examples of how you can reach out to others. She said absolutely nothing racial or discriminating- and I'm a black woman who can spot those types of remarks a mile away. I encourage you to pray and then re-read what she posted. Her words will only inspire you to seek to be like Jesus. And Jesus is the perfect example to look at, if you're going to be giving. I'm sure this post will bless you and encourage you to reach out your hand too.


    Blessings, Lynn!


    Warmly,
    Kennisha


  31. lynnmosher Says:

    Lineblack, It breaks my heart and brings me to tears to think you have misconstrued my intentions and thought they were racial. I am very careful not to make any statements like that for I am not a prejudiced person in any manner.

    I rejoice in my Christian family that comes in all colors. I am so sorry that you feel this way. Please accept my apologies if anything I have written has affected you in this way. Blessings to you...


  32. lynnmosher Says:

    Kennisha, I know those meals at times like that are always so appreciated. And another good idea to add to the list. Thank you for your sweet words. I so appreciate your precious friendship. Blessings!


  33. Terra Says:

    Lynn, these are lovely ideas, and I selected one to do this Monday.
    Thanks for offering these practical tips.


  34. lynnmosher Says:

    Hey, dear Terra! It's been a long time since our paths have crossed. So glad to see you. Thanks so much for the comment and I'm so glad you got to use one of the suggestions. Too cool! May the Lord bless you for your love in giving!


  35. Debbie Says:

    Your post was written with such tender love. Poverty can be the result of poor choices but it can also come because of unexpected environments in which you have no control. Other's actions can have an impact too. But no matter what the cause, the reality can hit you full force.

    I've found that I'm much more sensitive to the needs of others and less likely to judge the why behind it now. After going through and continuing to go through a very challenging time in my life, I have more empathy for others.