May 3: “The Joy of Being Kind”

6 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

Judges 17:1–18:31
John 3:1-21
Psalm 104:1-23
Proverbs 14:20-21

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Proverbs 14:20-21 (NLT): “The poor are despised even by their neighbors, while the rich have many ‘friends.’ It is a sin to belittle one’s neighbor; blessed are those who help the poor.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

The book of Proverbs is a wealth of knowledge. It is a compilation of wise saying and observations that are generally true. That is what proverbs are – they are principles that explain the general principles of how to live a good life. They aren’t necessarily true all of the time, but they are definitely true most of the time.

In our Verses for Today, we come across Proverbs 14:20 where we are told what we know to be true – people tend to avoid (“hate” / “despise”) the poor and try to stay in the company of those who are wealthy.

Why is this? Because of our preoccupation with our own personal interests. When we are around the poor, we suspect that it will require us to give what is ours and receive nothing in return. When we are around the rich, we suspect that they will need nothing from us, but some of their wealth may come our way.

Well, Proverbs 14:21 tells us what we need to hear if we are behaving like verse 20.

Proverbs 14:20-21 (NLT): “The poor are despised even by their neighbors, while the rich have many ‘friends.’ It is a sin to belittle one’s neighbor; blessed are those who help the poor.”

First of all, if we despise our neighbor (look down on and refuse to consider helping the poor who we see each day), then it is sin. It’s not just bad manners. It’s an offense against a holy God. It is also a sin against a person created in the image of God.

Secondly, when we give to those who need help, even though we think we will get nothing in return, we will get something in return. People who give to those in need realize that there is happiness attached to helping someone else. It feels wonderful to help someone in need. If you don’t believe me, just try it today. 

Finally, the wealth of the rich rarely slips out of their hands into yours. On top of this, it is utterly self-centered, duplicitous, and sinful to try to befriend someone simply because of what you think you can get out of them.

So, today, see those around you as people of value. Don’t base your judgment of their worth upon what you perceive to be in their bank account. Access their worth based upon the fact that they were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). And if they have a need that you can meet, and you believe God would have you to meet that need, then do it and receive happiness in return.


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Ev on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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