Deuteronomy 15:10-11, “You shall generously give to him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings. For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.'”
18, “It shall not seem hard to you when you set him free, for he has given you six years with double the service of a hired man; so the LORD your God will bless you in whatever you do.”
Romans 12:4-8, “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”
We Naturally Do It
In sixteenth-century Italy, once partisans of the pope (known as the Guelfs) and those of the emperor (the Ghibellines) took sides, nothing proved too small for a conflict. The “lava of hate flowed into all the avenues of life,” Durant wrote. The customs one group embraced, the other shunned as heretical. The traditions one fellowship practiced, the other intentionally and flagrantly violated. Unable to wear different clothes, each group wore its clothes differently. If one side wore feathers on the right side of their caps, the other moved theirs to the left. Unable to eat different foods, each sect ate its food differently. Neither group hesitated to kill anyone foolish enough to act as if the dispute were trivial.
That may seem to be extreme nonsense, but modern church members have been known to divide their congregations over the color of a carpet, the size of a building program, or procedures in worship. Mankind needs no instruction in the differences that divide. That comes with birth. What we desperately need is instruction in the similarities we all share. God teaches us to love those who reject us and to do good to those who hate and persecute us. He reminds us repeatedly that we are all one body.
Courtesy of Speaker’s Sourcebook of New Illustrations by Virgil Hurley copyright © 1995 by Word, Incorporated. Used by permission.
*Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” — Winston S. Churchill
“We divided ourselves among caste, creed, culture and countries but what is undivided remains most valuable: a mere smile and the love.” — Santosh Kalwar
“If you won’t stand up against those who tear us apart with their lies, hate, and bigotry, expect to do a lot of sitting down.” — DaShanne Stokes
“Faults are thick where love is thin.” — English Proverb