By: Peter Larocque – Feb.2018
God Bless you and Happy New Year! It is great to be back for an exciting 2018 writing about the Goodness of God!
Just the other day after work I sat in my chair and began to click away with my TV remote. Then I came across the rebroadcast of a Lawrence City Council meeting and the topic of discussion was homelessness and how does one measure success helping the homeless. Then one of our esteemed City Councilors, attempting to make a heartfelt statement, quoted from what he called the good book, he said, “The good book says the Homeless we will always have”.
First, he got the name of the book wrong and then the quote as well. Upon hearing the misquote , I automatically knew what he was referring to. But to the readers who may not, please allow me to clarify.
There are many “good books” like, Destined to Reign and Unmerited Favor, The Power of Right Believing, Grace Revolution, Live The Let-Go-Life, all by Pastor Joseph Prince. But being familiar with what The Councilor was trying to say, I knew he was referring to “The Holy Bible”.
Why the City Councilor was reluctant to say, “The Holy Bible says” just made me sad because if there was ever a time to be very clear it is now! Being “Politically Correct” at a Lawrence City Council meeting when talking about Homelessness doesn’t help anybody!
Next was the attempt to quote from the Holy Bible which the Councilor also got all wrong. Here is what Jesus actually said which is written in the Gospel of John 12:8, “For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.” Jesus said, “The POOR you will always have”, He did not say the HOMELESS you will always have. There is a difference!
Not all poor people are homeless and I am sure plenty of poor people expect their City Councilors to know that! Who do they think is living in Low Income Housing or Public Housing?
My unsolicited advice, please in the future when you take upon yourself to quote Scripture make sure you are speaking accurately! Speaking truth boldly is what is really going to help people. We read in Acts 14:3, “Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.” When God’s Word was spoken without hesitation by the Apostle Paul and Barnabas, signs and wonders were done and the people really got set free!
Now having said all this, do I believe the City Councilor who misspoke did it maliciously? Absolutely not! Most likely this was spoken without much forethought at all. The subject matter of homelessness is a very emotional and sensitive subject, especially when trying to measure success! Attempting to approach this subject without having empathy, [the ability of putting oneself in the other person’s shoes], makes any effort seem like just the compiling of statistics as it did at the City Council meeting.
It would be good to take our lead from Jesus who demonstrated empathy, The Bible calls it compassion. Here’s an example of the Compassion of Jesus Christ which we read about in Mark 1:40-42, “And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. 42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.” Jesus went above and beyond what this leper asked for; Jesus not only cleansed the leper from leprosy but also touched him! He most likely hadn’t been touched in years and Jesus’ touch removed the Stigma that accompanied leprosy!
Jesus separated people from the problem; he didn’t allow the stigma of the situation to define them! We also need to read 1 John 3:17-18, “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”
Do I think we can provide help to the homeless? Yes, but only with having compassion without judgment and condemnation! College degrees alone cannot instill in someone real compassion for the homeless. The love of God in Christ Jesus must be in manifestation to see this kind of compassion!
Jesus set the standard of how to help people regardless of their condition. We read about Jesus leveling the playing field for everyone in John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus also said the following in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Maybe success could be measured by simply channeling the funds provided to helping one person at a time with acquiring a bed and a roof over their head. But this, will take rolling up one’s sleeves and doing it!
Homelessness along with The Opioid Epidemic and other domestic issues that are plaguing our communities have only one real solution and that is coming to a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ! He is the only one who can save to the uttermost! Hebrews 7:24-25, tells us “But this man, [Jesus Christ] because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
Love to you all,