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In chapter seven of his book Balance: A Tried and Tested Formula for Church Growth, Ira North points us to the importance of helping the poor, the downtrodden, and the “lowly.” Brother North quotes Romans 12:16 (KJV) which says, “Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.” Wayne Jackson comments on this verse by saying, “Cease pursuing grandiose ambitions; instead, descend to humility and the assistance of others.”

From the beginning, the ability for mankind to sustain a “standard of living” depends on the ability to provide for himself. However, we all know, the opportunity to maintain employment and take care of ourselves depends on many things: motivation, being taught by family members the importance of labor, the opportunity to develop a skill set, and an economy that we can count on. When one or more of these factors are not present, our citizenry may fall on hard times or become stuck in a never-ending cycle of being impoverished. I recently learned that 76 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Additionally, I was told more than half of people in the U.S. cannot cover a short-term financial emergency that requires one thousand dollars in cash.  

Psalm 41:1-3 says, “Blessed is he who considers the poor; The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive, And he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed.”

Regardless of someone’s situation, we have an opportunity to help the poor, downtrodden, and lowly by meeting their basic needs and with relationships as the Lord expects. Let’s continue to “see a need and fill a need.” 

Allen Jones
South Green Street church of Christ
Glasgow, KY

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