As it refers to America as a nation, one of our problems is not the negligence of helping the poor, for this is indeed a commandment established by God. Our problem is that we are enabling people to make a career out of milking the “system” and using the backs of the hard working taxpayers in America to care for their medical needs (Medicaid), food (Food Stamps) and shelter (Section 8). We have evolved from a nation that helps the poor, to a nation that promotes and glorifies laziness. The reality is that God has a big problem with this approach.
I believe that we, God’s people, are being blinded by the enemy, and, as a result, are not taking the issue of laziness serious enough. I strongly believe that laziness is part of what is destroying this great nation, considering that the welfare system is totally out of control. The church is paying attention to the “big sins”: Fornication, Homosexuality, Drugs and Alcohol, but the sin of laziness is indeed a lethal weapon against our destiny.
The Bible tells us in First Timothy 5:8 something that I have overlooked for years:
“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” NKJV
The word “provide” means: “to take thought, to care for beforehand.” We have a responsibility to care for the church family: “But if anyone does not provide for his own.” Also, we have a responsibility to reserve something special for our love ones, spouse and children: “…and especially for those of his household…” Now, this next portion is where it gets scary and very, very serious; it expresses how God feels about those that are not supporting the church and especially those that are not trusting HIM to care for their own families. The Bible tells us here:
“…he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
God sees this group of folks as people who are:
1. Denying the faith: The word “deny” here means: “To refuse someone, not to know or recognize him, to reject him either in the face of a former relationship or better knowledge. To deny, decline, reject, give up.”Essentially, what is being said here is that when we refuse to work hard and provide the basic needs of food, shelter and clothing for our families, we are indeed refusing, rejecting, declining and giving up on our Lord Jesus.
2. Worse than unbelievers: The word worse here means: “Inferior in rank, dignity, goodness, excellence, or condition.” The word unbeliever here means: “Without faith; in this case, without faith or trust in God.”
When able bodies are not providing for their families, the Bible has nothing good to say about them. I have read these verses many times, but it is the first time that I am actually taking the time to deeply think about the ramifications of these words. Beloved, God places lazy people at a lower level than a faithless person. God places a lazy person at even a lower level than someone who openly denies and rejects Christ!
God wants us to depend only in Him and He has blessed us with these able bodies so that we can earn a living. Depending on the Government and in others is not God’s will. It is my prayer that we confront this spirit of laziness and promote a culture where we can go back to working hard, earning a living, trusting God and depending on no one but HIM who is our Provider. Democrats in this nation are known for aggressively promoting Government Programs to help the poor; I am convinced that many of them mean well. No, I don’t believe that all Democrats are liberals and that all Democrats are Godless; but I do believe that some have stepped into helping lazy folk. The Welfare System needs further and deeper reform. As it is right now, it is a tool in the hand of our enemy to bring this great nation to ruins. On the other hand, Republicans come across insensitive toward the poor, which is equally dangerous.
In conclusion, we must establish, based on the Bible verses reviewed on this series, that:
- It is not God’s will for His people to be poor: King David stated in Psalm 37:25-26 “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing.” God’s people are called to be blessed and to be a blessing.
- 2. Poverty is a curse: Poverty, according to Scripture, is reserved for people that are not obeying the Lord and for Christians that have moved away from the righteous ways of God. We become poor when we insist in not paying attention to God and in disobeying Him.
- The poor will always be among us: Nothing will eradicate poverty; it will always be among us because we will always have people that will stand in disobedience to the Lord. God also uses poverty as a test for His people so that they will be ready for the prosperity that is to come. God’s heart is to bless; the absence of His blessing is curse. Even for those that are financially prosperous, without the Lord they can’t truly enjoy the blessing of God.
- As God’s people, we are call to help the poor: We could add that helping the poor is an evangelistic tool to bring them into the Kingdom. The Bible tells us that it is God’s will for all to be saved (First Timothy 2:3-4 / Second Peter 3:9). So then we should ask ourselves: Who is the poor that we are called to help? “Hardworking people who, for one reason or another, are unable to make a living for themselves.” We are not called to judge the reasons why they are poor. That is not our job. Our job is to help the poor…period! Helping the poor is a crucial Biblical mandate in the Old and New Testament that should never be taken lightly.
- As God’s people, we are called to be in position to lend to others, but never to borrow: When we, as God’s people, borrow from others, we allow others to rule over us. I know what it is to receive daily phone calls from creditors; I know how annoying that experience is, I know what it is to get paid today and be broke tomorrow after paying all of my bills; that is indeed the curse of poverty. We, on the other hand, rule when we don’t owe anybody anything. (Romans 13:8)
- We are not called to help the lazy: The Biblical evidence is overwhelming; it sounds cruel, it sounds tough, but it is the system of the Lord and therefore it is a good system designed to bring people out of a mind-set of laziness and into the blessing of the Lord. We must understand that God’s will for us is good; God’s will for us is the best thing that can ever happen to us, for the Bible tells us in Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)
Beloved, only God knows the perfect plan for us, only God can prosper you and I, give us a hope and a future. Only God knows how to perfectly balance material, personal health and spiritual blessing as the Apostle John tells us:
“Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” Third John 1:2 (NASB)