And the series continues! Today marks 11 posts. We’ve made it to Proverbs 31:20!
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
I see two responses to a similar people group:
She welcomes them.
She reaches out to them.
Who? The poor and needy.
Poor is pretty simple to understand. Poor is defined as “lacking sufficient money to live at a standard considered comfortable or normal in a society.” Poor can be easy to identify, but it can also be easy to miss. No one wants to be labeled as poor. It can be a humbling thing to know that you can’t provide for yourself what you need. But being welcomed in can help. It can lift up. Giving out of pity or duty may provide for a physical need, but it can also reiterate the feeling of insufficiency. I don’t think that God wants us to ONLY meet a physical need, in this situation.
Needy can mean SO many different things. It can mean the same as above: financially lacking. It can also be an emotional need, a relational need, or a spiritual need. Whatever the need may be, God says that a woman after His heart extends her hands to the needy.
I don’t know if anyone else has had an interaction similar to ones I have had, but sometimes a needy person can be a not very nice person. Need can make us feel insecure. Insecurity can make us behave arrogantly, rudely, harshly, impatiently, and impersonally. Insecurity can make us want to stick up for ourselves and try to prove ourselves. Remember this when you try to reach out to someone in need. They might not show appreciation.
However, God didn’t say “She opens her arms to the poor that are trying hard and extends her hands to the nice needy.” A LOT of times I don’t know. I don’t know what people are going through, what brought them to this point, why they are responding in an unfavorable way, or where they will end up. God does know though. He is in control and can be trusted. If He has told us to do something, then obedience to Him is the only thing I need to concern myself with. I don’t have to understand.
Yes, I agree that some poor and needy could do more to help themselves than they are doing. Yes, I believe that some people are in difficult situation due to their own poor choices. But again, I don’t know. God does. I must ask Him for discernment in each situation and to use me for His glory, even when I don’t get it.
Thank you Lord, for being in control and trust worthy. Please guide me in welcoming and reaching out to the poor and needy. I would love to hear ideas and examples you may have on how to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this way.
Until next time, lovelies! (Pretty printable below! Right click, copy, and paste to a word document to print.)