Day 15 | 21-Day Growth Challenge | "The Power of Prudence and Compassion"

Monday, September 13, 2010 Bryan Hudson 8 Comments







SELECTED SCRIPTURES & INSIGHTS FROM PROVERBS 14:



Proverbs 14:15 A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.

Many of the important themes in the book of Proverbs are often repeated. Again in this text is the warning against simple minded. "Simplicity" is good in that we do not complicate the word or ways of God. However, being simple or simple minded by being easily persuaded or impressed by lofty claims is not good.

Giving thought to our steps is one the characteristics of people who are prudent.  The word prudent is defined as,"acting with or showing care and thought for the future." Using this definition, we can understand how that being simple minded does not consider how present actions affect one's future. Rash or overly emotional reactions can make our future more difficult than it needed to be.

Proverbs 14:31 He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.

Another theme in the book of Proverbs is the condition of poor people and our proper disposition towards them. This text plainly states that it is displeasing to God to oppress the poor. In fact, the word goes on to state that to oppress the poor is to show contempt for God himself, their Maker. It is not that God makes people poor as much as it is the fact that many people struggle to find success in life despite earnest efforts. Other people are innocent recipients of difficulties such as companies shedding jobs, illnesses that drain financial resources, and other factors which people cannot control.

I have often asked the question, "Who are the poor?"  Since we are commanded to assist the poor and not disrespect them, we should be clearer about who are poor people. In my view, the person who goes out and runs up a lot of debt on credit cards making ill-advised purchases, then loses his job for behaving unethically, does not qualify as "poor" under a biblical review. This is not to suggest that we should not have compassion on such persons but to highlight the source of their problems. When considering how to help the "poor," it's necessary to separate wasteful conditions from the experiences of persons who had no control over their loss of income.

Assisting people is the heart of God. It is also consistent with God's nature to bring correction and rebuke when it is necessary to do so. We need to learn from our mistakes and errors of judgment.

Those who are truly poor are in the heart and mind of God. He wants to deliver people from poverty and lack, and that requires assistance from others by way of both biblical understanding, and practical knowledge about how this world and its economic systems work.


PRAYER:
"Lord, I will not act rashly, but will consider my steps before acting or deciding. Help me to help the poor and to correct and counsel others who may have mismanaged their resources. In Jesus' Name, Amen!"

ACTIVATION:
(Use comment section below to share your insights. Record sensitive items in your personal journal. You can login or simply use your first name.)
  1. How are simplicity and being simple minded different?
  2. Do you agree or disagree with the idea that people who do not have money may not be poor?
  3. What actions will you take today related to this lesson?
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COMMENT SECTION:
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8 comments :

  1. 1.) When a person is simple minded they are operating under the assumption that every thing is true as it is presented. I would compare this to having the mind of a child. Simplicity is the bare essentials or living a life free of excess and over indulgence.

    2.) Poverty is a general term used to gauge financial status (or the lack thereof). but, I do believe it is impossible to be truly rich without peace, stability and wisdom. Without these things, people's minds may be more burdened than some one with fewer resources available to them.

    3.) I will really think about the true definition of poverty.

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  2. 1. How are simplicity and being simple minded different?
    Simplicity is making something easy to understand.
    Simple-minded is to not see past the present, no thought for the future.

    2. Do you agree or disagree with the idea that people who do not have money may not be poor?
    - I agree, they are a different kind of poor. I have heard the term the deserving poor. that speak about the folks who are having financial trouble due to no fault of their own.

    3. What actions will you take today related to this lesson?
    - Continue to help the poor
    - Make sure I am not creating a situation in my life where I am in lack because I did use my resources wisely.

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  3. 1.What's the difference between simplicity and being simple minded?
    a)Having simplicity to me is living without clutter. Clutter can be things and/or activities that steal your time and resources;keeping you from what really matters.
    b)A simple minded person just walks into situations that they should have avoided. Their minds are so full of clutter that they lack judgment and direction.
    2.I agree with the idea that some people who have little to no money may not be as poor as most people think.
    ex. George in "It's A Wonderful Life" didn't have two nickels to rub together, but was rich in friends. When his uncle had missed place a bank deposit, the people in the town that George had helped, came to his aid.They raised the funds that George needed.In the movie his brother Frank made a toast. "To my brother George, the riches man in town."
    George followed the principle of sowing and reaping.
    3.I can reject thoughts of a simple minded person and take hold of wisdom that will prosper me in every area of my life.
    -Davis

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  4. 1. Simplicity denotes the straightforward and uncomplicated nature of a thing. Simple-minded suggests one whom naively accepts everything at face value and does not apply critical thought in decision-making.

    2. I believe that all whom lack resources and are scarcely able to support themselves and/or their families are poor, as indicated by the standard definition. However, I agree that those who foolishly squandered their resources, and have yet to learn the error of their ways, are not the poor people of which God speaks because they are still wallowing in the same foolishness that landed them in their current impoverished state. The poor people that will appreciate assistance, and rightly govern it are those whom are wise and were stricken with poverty through no fault of their own. On the other hand, those who were stricken with poverty due to their own actions, and who have not gained understanding as to why those foolish habits need to be changed will quite possibly squander any monetary assistance they receive. A case in point is that of a couple my husband and I know who spend the majority of their money in the casino, regardless of the enormous debt they are currently experiencing. I agree that we must still help people such as these as it would not be proper to allow them to go without food, however, they are also in need of wise council.

    3. I will approach all matters by seeking the Lord and carefully applying wisdom to all decisions. Additionally, I will pray that the Lord gives me a word of council for those whom are struggling from the effects of bad economical decisions.

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  5. Denis, Joycell and TiaraSeptember 14, 2010 at 9:41 PM

    1.How are simplicity and being simple minded different?
    Simplicity is with out understanding and simple minded is stupidity.

    2.Do you agree or disagree with the idea that people who do not have money may not be poor?
    I agree because being poor is a state of mind and not necessarily a physical condition based on possesion.

    3.What actions will you take today related to this lesson?
    I will not be simple minded because based on the bible simple minded people are stupid and WE are NOT stupid.

    ReplyDelete
  6. 1. Simplicity and being simple minded are different in that simplicity is the freedom from the complex as it relates to one’s approach to life and relationships with people and God, however, being simple minded is being foolish as it relates to one’s thoughts, decisions, and actions.
    2. I agree that people who do not have money may not be poor for many reasons. Some reasons are—
    a. Many people do not have money saved or invested, but work jobs for limited salaries/wages that are enough to allow for their basic needs and those of their family to be met, if managed wisely, as well as allow them to give to the needs of others and the work of the Lord.
    B.Money is only a medium of exchange for the basic things people need to live, that is, food, clothing, and shelter. Many times while people may not have all they want, these basic daily needs are provided through their own work efforts, if physically and mentally capable, or by the assistance of loving, caring family, church family, friends, or benevolent humanitarians or organizations.
    C.Money is only one type of asset. In some situations, people have other types of assets that are available to be converted into money, if needed, to meet needs.
    3.The action I will take today is to ask the Lord to give me the wisdom to be prudent in all things and give me wisdom and opportunities to show His heart of compassion to people in need.

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  7. 1.Difference in simplicity and simple-minded?
    Simplicity gives thought to whatever matter is before you, then proceeds in a manner where others can understand and follow. Being simple-minded gives no thought to risk, process, good, bad, or indifferent..just plunges into whatever adding frustration to the lives of those involved.
    2. I do agree that some people who do not have money are not poor. Some people may not have money physically in possession but have access to it by different means. Others may live with the bare necessities, but have land that can be converted into money. Then others who do not have money maybe stay in debt because the spend it faster than they can make it by living above their means.
    3.Action taken: Pray that God will help me to stay within the boundaries according to His Promises of things to come and wealth to be gained God's way.

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  8. 1)Simplicity means without pretense, it is to stay true the basics however to be simple-minded is to thoughtless and pretentious.

    2)I believe that people who do not have money appear to be poor by the world's standards but as long as you are fulfilliing the the purpose of God for your life you are rich.

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