poverty and dignity

grayscale photography of man praying on sidewalk with food in front

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poverty and dignity

Deuteronomy 24:10-13 (JDV)

Deuteronomy 24:10 “When you make a loan of any kind to your neighbor, do not enter his house to collect what he offers as security.
Deuteronomy 24:11 Stand outside while the man you are making the loan to brings the security out to you.
Deuteronomy 24:12 If he is a poor man, do not sleep with the garment he has given as security.
Deuteronomy 24:13 Be sure to return it to him at sunset. Then he will sleep in it and celebrate you, and this will be counted as righteousness to you before Yahveh your God.

poverty and dignity

I like the way Moses takes pains to preserve the dignity of the poor man in this text. It is embarrassing to have to pawn off an item you need to secure a loan. It would be an affront to the poor person’s dignity to sleep in the cold because someone has your garment who doesn’t really need it.

How important is the dignity of the poor to us? Sometimes our political rhetoric reveals a casual attitude or even animosity toward those who find themselves in need. We need to check that attitude, because it does not reflect God.

Lord, give us attitudes about the poor that reflect the way you care about all of us.

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About Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is a former Christian missionary and a candidate for pastoral ministry. You can contact him at marmsky@gmail.com -- !
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