Daily Wisdom 320: Proverbs 14:20-21

Proverbs 14:20–21 (NKJV) — 20 The poor man is hated even by his own neighbor, but the rich has many friends. 21 He who despises his neighbor sins; but he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he.

The sin of favoritism. Many people treat others on the basis of their economic position. The underlying motive is personal advantage. In other words, many people ignore the poor because they perceive little economic advantage in helping them. By befriending the rich, they hope to gain economically.

But it is sinful to despise other persons because of their poverty. Everyone is equal in value in the eyes of God (Acts 10:34; James 2:1-9). Those who despise the poor are not thinking or acting like God. When the Spirit of the Lord anoints people, they will be motivated to minister to everyone, especially to the poor, as Jesus did (Luke 4:17-19). Those who think little of others because of their low social or economic standing will not find true happiness, but those who have mercy on the poor will be happy. There is even an economic blessing to having mercy on the poor: those who give to the poor are actually lending to the Lord, and their gift will be returned to them (Proverbs 19:17).

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