Proverbs 19:17 says Whoever favors (or is kind or generous or in anyway good, giving) to the poor lends to God and He will repay it.

This verse speaks to me because when we often think about the poor, we think about those who are poor in finances; those who are lacking in physical comforts, and that is truly critical. If we see a physical need we should try and address that need remembering that Scripture says "As we have done unto the least of them we do it onto the Lord." (Matt. 25:40)

I believe Proverbs 19:17 also applies to something we don't always consider when we look at another person's life: the inner person. Is he/ she poor in spirit? Lacking in hope? How can we help them have more hope? Are they lacking in faith? How can we add to their measure of faith? How can we add a measure to their joy? How can we add a measure to their peace? Love? Kindness?

Sometimes when we give money or goods, it's easier to do, because we can just give that physical thing and separate ourselves from it.

Looking beyond that to a person's social-emotional well-being requires more of our investment and it sometimes requires us to walk alongside someone. It requires our time. It requires our pouring out emotionally as well, to meet that person's intangible need(s). Doing that requires us to invest ourselves in them. In truth just thinking about it me feel tired. I want to say, "Uh that's another thing on my plate to do." But I have to think "what would Jesus do"? What did Jesus do? His actions were certainly not out of convenience or self-centeredness.

Proverbs 19: 17 is very significant in reminding us to delve deeper. We'll get more out of it, too, because God repays us. We are lending to God and God is faithful.

On the other side of that if we are the recipient of the good, of the favor then we are not indebted. That's key for some people who find it difficult to receive, because they don't like to feel that they owe others. God has assumed that, and he will repay it so we shouldn't feel burdened to receive good from others. Just says thank you, and in all things give thanks to God. He is the giver of every good gift.

by Tajmah Bailey, Women's Ministry Team

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