Leviticus 25 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“If your brother becomes destitute and cannot sustain himself among you, you are to support him as a foreigner or temporary resident, so that he can continue to live among you. Don’t profit or take interest from him, but fear your G_d and let your brother live among you. You are not to lend him your silver with interest or sell him your food for profit. I am the L_rd your G_d, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your G_d.” Leviticus 25:35-38
Interdependence: 1) Unable to exist or survive without each other 2) Relying on mutual assistance, support, cooperation, or interaction among constituent elements or members
Much of our modern culture has been built on the idea of “independence”. In American society, people who are “dependent” are generally frowned-upon. Children are taught that they should be independent, not needing anything from anyone. Growing up, I was taught that taking a handout or charitable assistance was shameful.
Interesting, I was also taught that if a person was needy, it was probably because they were lazy. Basically, there was a stigma of sin attached to poverty. We were led to believe that if we gave someone charity, we were probably enabling them to continue in their laziness. We were taught that people should work hard, and that money was our reward to keep for ourselves.
That’s the theory I was taught…then one day I needed charity.
I’ve searched the Scriptures, and someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I have yet to find an instance where G_d honors independence.
G_d’s design for society is that men would be completely dependent on Him. He designed for His “dependants” to live interdependently among each other, in community. The purpose of community is to make our weaknesses ineffective. When someone covers your weakness, it frees you to operate in the strengths G_d has endowed you with.
Nobody is an island, self-sustaining unto themselves. Hard times will fall on everyone. G_d doesn’t just provide spiritual (internal) peace; He also provides physical and emotional comfort through the community of believers. He mostly provides for His people through the generosity of other people.
Lesson: Don’t be too ashamed to receive charity, and don’t be too self-absorbed to withhold it from others in need.
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Monday, May 5, 2014