Whether it is teaching classes on mercy ministry or counseling with others on a case involving someone needy, again and again I find the church struggling to know what to do in helping the poor. Often I start by telling folks that it is good they are struggling, because every situation will be difficult to discern. Beware of the one who comes in with the quick, easy answer!
But then I also will ask, “What does the Bible have to say in cases like this one?” People often fumble around a bit at this question. Usually a mention of how we have an obligation to care for the needy or a reference to the story of the Good Samaritan is offered by the sensitive, tender-hearted ones on the one hand; and remarks about the poor needing to learn to work or how we cannot be giving handouts to every drunkard comes from the bolder, more stout-hearted folks on the other. Too infrequently do I hear a reasoned articulation coming from the Scriptures that echoes with the proper Micah 6:8 blend: “to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
The location of this verse just quoted explains why. Notice Micah 6:8 is in the Old Testament. […]