He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy. Proverbs 14:21
The needy have unmet needs that cripple their ability to live life to its fullest. It may be the need for food, clothing, or a place to live. They may need a job, a car, or an opportunity to get ahead. The needy may be lost in their sins without Christ, which is the greatest of needs. Wherever their point of need lies is our obligation to kindly care for them. “Give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven” (Matthew 19:21).
Evidence of our following Jesus is shown by our caring concern for the poor. Our kindness may require us to give up something so that another can gain something. Perhaps there is a fun trip you give up so a poor person can enjoy food for a month. What financial expenditure can you put on pause? Do you know someone who could benefit from a car repair or a mortgage payment? Sacrifice solicits most when the need of others is highest.
“Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God” (Proverbs 14:31).
Furthermore, the best motivation for reaching out is kindness of heart, not guilt of mind. It is a kind word that lifts another person’s spirit. It is a generous gratuity to a diligent server. It is a gentle response to a demanding spirit. The needy are all around us, especially during economic downturns. Maybe there is a neighbor who is out of work whom you can invite into your home for dinner and encouragement. Kindness is a culprit of compassion and care.
Lastly, look out for the needy because of the Lord’s great love toward you. Kindness asks, “Where would I be without God’s grace? Where in my life can I extend His grace, love, and mercy?” Blessings await those who give and receive kindness. We are all needy, some more than others, but our provider is the same—Jesus Christ.
“Because of the LORD’S great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail” (Lamentations 3:22).
Prayer: Who in my life is in need that I can show kindness to in Jesus’ name?
Related Readings: Deuteronomy 15:4; Isaiah 58:7–12; Luke 6:30–36; 1 John 3:17–22