“For there will never cease to be poor in the land.” Deuteronomy 15:11
Our Lord referred to these words when Mary poured an expensive jar of ointment over him. Judas protested, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold, and the money given to the poor?” And Jesus said, “The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me” (John 12:8).
Some people have misconstrued these words to mean that since there is nothing we can do to solve the problem, we don’t need to do anything. But it is important to read this in context: “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land’” (Dt. 15:11). God is not saying, “There will always be people in need, so do nothing.” God is saying, “There will always be people in need, so learn to be generous.”
This “culture of kindness” is a distinctive calling for the church today. Christ has released us from our debt to God that we had no means to repay. His Spirit lives in his people. So helping those who are in great need should be a distinctive mark of Christ’s church. While kindness is to be shown to all, there is a special priority given to the family of God: “Let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10).
Think about a time in your life when someone in the body of Christ helped you and showed you a practical kindness. It is a wonderful thing to see the body of Christ in action. As others have shown kindness to you, so practice kindness to others.