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If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor.

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posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 07:06 AM
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How do we help the poor?

This is something I have thought about my whole life. We see homeless every day begging for money on the side of the road. For several years, I have gone out and met some of these needy people and bought meals, clothes, gas and other items for them when I could help. I always avoid giving money unless I can see evidence that substance abuse is not present. Most of the time, I just give them attention and friendship.

After many interactions and conversations with people on the road, I have come to a few conclusions. What does Jesus mean in this verse?

Matthew 25
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

If we take this literally, we may think we need to minister material goods to those who are needy. Questions arise here: Are the needy in need because they are reaping what they have sown in life? Are they needy because they lack the opportunities in life that other have? Are they there by choice or have their choices brought them to the place of need? Is it my responsibility to give them a meal today knowing that they have no chance of feeding or clothing themselves in the future? Where does my goodness to them end and their willingness to change patterns of behavior begin? Can we fix a life of poor choices with one meal or a place to sleep?

And the biggest question of all: Do I risk my safety connecting to someone who cannot be trusted to take care of their own safety and well-being?

Obviously, I am speaking of those who are in need by their own doing. If we only consider those who are reaping what has been sown, how do we answer the questions above? Do the same answers apply to all who are in need?

From what I have determined, the answer is not money, goods or meals. Although we may want to answer those needs, the real answer goes beyond the temporal needs. Jesus was referring here to the needs of the heart. Feeding the poor should be seen as feeding--those in need--truth from our compassion and love. Giving drink is more than water. It is filling the thirst for attention and belonging in a child before they arrive on the street by their own actions. Compassion involves taking those you don't know and being present in their lives by example. A person in prison may only be in the prison they create from a life of poor choices and neglected need. Our presence and influence is the determining factor for so many people we see who are headed in the wrong direction. Influence meets needs much more than money ever can.

When we come to realize that money is not nearly as beneficial as time, we can come to understand that ministering to the poor is more about our own witness to others and less about opening the wallet. This will be true for the individual, the town, the city, the nation and the world. We're all in this together and our witness to others comes by our actions more than any other area. We can willingly choose to make the world a better place one interaction at a time. It may be a loan to a friend in need that never needs to be paid back. It may be a tank of gas for a stranger. It may be opening a door for someone. It may be giving attention to a child who is acting out because their parents are neglecting their needs.

Jesus also said that we should sell all our goods and give to the poor. Matthew 19:21 Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

Does this mean we neglect our families to give all our goods away to others?

Pride causes selfishness. Selfishness takes for self and denies the needs of others. Do we lavish our wealth on our own desires or do we spend our money on the needs of our family? Do we purchase beer and cigarettes when our children lack school supplies? Do we provide a trailer for our family when we have a BMW with 20 inch rims in the driveway? Do we have a cellphone, satellite TV, the latest clothes and all the electronics the world can buy, but can't afford to spend time with our children?

I think what Jesus was saying is this: To find abundance and perfection in our own lives, we must give more and take less. This is a simple idea and applies to more than just our choices with our families. Selling our possessions represents giving of ourselves to others. The idea in both the verses I posted are the same.

Selling your possessions represents removing the detraction from the real life to be lived. If we focus ourselves on others first and ourselves last, we end up living life to its fullest.

Matthew 20:16

16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

If we place ourselves last, we become first in the eyes of others. When we place ourselves first, we become least among men. Pride or humility. Money has little to do with it.
edit on 27-8-2011 by SuperiorEd because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 07:25 AM
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Not to uhhh, ignore the Christian part of your post there but...

Community farming/gardening is a good start.
Start local. Feed your neighbor. Everyone can pitch in. Even the homeless. Did you know, if the city, any city anywhere just took a small portion of collected taxes, built a community greenhouse and purchased materials needed to get started, these poor people would have jobs? Many people would not have to look for work. Aquaculture, aeroponics and any other sort of urban Ag is readily available to anyone who wants to learn and help make a difference.

With that said, I do not think nor believe that anyone should give up everything they have and own to the poor. There is no real reason to.
edit on 27-8-2011 by Nephalim because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 07:30 AM
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reply to post by SuperiorEd
 


Lol man, i'm already poor. I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel as is. As to the OP, misleading title, you can't be perfect no matter how hard you try only Jesus was perfect. You can pretend to be perfect, and end up being a hypocrit. No sinner is perfect, and make no bones about it, saved people are still sinners were just forgiven and redeemed.

Yeah i've run into other christians who think theyre perfect, they go to church every sunday, sit on the front pew and praise Jesus, then after service is over immediately go to the nearest steakhouse and stuff themselves into commiting gluttony while some homeless guy is behind the restaraunt dumpster diving. Then the next day rolls around, and while hubby or wifey are gone to work they bang their next door neighbor and commit adultery and the sin of lust. No, joke i have seen these people do this and they say they follow Jesus. Sorry but i follow Jesus too and i don't do any of that stuff. Jesus said there would be false prophets claiming to be one of his, and he was right "depart from me you workers of iniquity, for i knew you not".
edit on 27-8-2011 by lonewolf19792000 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 08:26 AM
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your title is a paradox.

you give to them, they give it back to you.



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 08:36 AM
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Originally posted by Nephalim
Not to uhhh, ignore the Christian part of your post there but...

Community farming/gardening is a good start.
Start local. Feed your neighbor. Everyone can pitch in. Even the homeless. Did you know, if the city, any city anywhere just took a small portion of collected taxes, built a community greenhouse and purchased materials needed to get started, these poor people would have jobs? Many people would not have to look for work. Aquaculture, aeroponics and any other sort of urban Ag is readily available to anyone who wants to learn and help make a difference.

With that said, I do not think nor believe that anyone should give up everything they have and own to the poor. There is no real reason to.
edit on 27-8-2011 by Nephalim because: (no reason given)


You seem to restate my OP. Did you read it or just the title?

The Christian part is where we derive this idea from history. Man, left to his own devices, lives by objectivism. We can clearly see this in our society today. Apart from the influence of the words of Jesus, we would have already destroyed ourselves long ago. His words are the only thing keeping us here. All turning points in history have been conquered by the shepherding of God as we travel the wilderness of life. Living is the path to finding love, the only law of God.

Man rises or falls, not by His own efforts, but by the leading of God. We can say that we are responsible, but we only do two things to exist. We think and we move. Other than this, all other things in nature around us are produced by God. Name one thing you do other than moving and thinking to make your world and I'll mail you $20. All other activities and needs are provided by God.



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 11:36 AM
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reply to post by SuperiorEd
 




Name one thing you do other than moving and thinking to make your world

Clarify- "To make my world?"
I did read the op btw, sorry didn't mean to derail.
Just putting it out there.
edit on 27-8-2011 by Nephalim because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 12:16 PM
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Originally posted by Nephalim
reply to post by SuperiorEd
 




Name one thing you do other than moving and thinking to make your world

Clarify- "To make my world?"
edit on 27-8-2011 by Nephalim because: (no reason given)


The answer is that we do only two things. Thought is at the center of all of it. We reside in a place outside our thoughts, so thought is it as far as I can see. I am always hoping for someone else to give me another answer. So far, I don't think it is possible.

I failed to note the policy of ATS on this type of request so I'll change it to $20 donation to ATS if anyone comes up with an answer that is accurate to being outside thought and movement.



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 12:18 PM
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I think that when Jesus said this, he realized that we were incapable. This is the point of the gospel message. As you say, we are all imperfect. Jesus, however, meets the description. He owned the clothes on his back. That was it.


Originally posted by lonewolf19792000
reply to post by SuperiorEd
 


Lol man, i'm already poor. I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel as is. As to the OP, misleading title, you can't be perfect no matter how hard you try only Jesus was perfect. You can pretend to be perfect, and end up being a hypocrit. No sinner is perfect, and make no bones about it, saved people are still sinners were just forgiven and redeemed.

Yeah i've run into other christians who think theyre perfect, they go to church every sunday, sit on the front pew and praise Jesus, then after service is over immediately go to the nearest steakhouse and stuff themselves into commiting gluttony while some homeless guy is behind the restaraunt dumpster diving. Then the next day rolls around, and while hubby or wifey are gone to work they bang their next door neighbor and commit adultery and the sin of lust. No, joke i have seen these people do this and they say they follow Jesus. Sorry but i follow Jesus too and i don't do any of that stuff. Jesus said there would be false prophets claiming to be one of his, and he was right "depart from me you workers of iniquity, for i knew you not".
edit on 27-8-2011 by lonewolf19792000 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 12:19 PM
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reply to post by SuperiorEd
 


For a start,scrap the exorbitant tax rates levied on the poorer strata of society,ditto the fuel and heating taxes,i'm sure that your Jesus would have advocated that their physical wellbeing be taken care of first,the spiritual can follow later.



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 12:26 PM
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reply to post by SuperiorEd
 


I don't want your money but i'll still answer your question...

You can move, you can think...

But you can also move without thinking.

Many people do things without any thought towards consequences. Though there is still a certain amount of thought that still goes in to this, I would definatly argue that in some circumstances




posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 12:43 PM
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Originally posted by nake13
reply to post by SuperiorEd
 


For a start,scrap the exorbitant tax rates levied on the poorer strata of society,ditto the fuel and heating taxes,i'm sure that your Jesus would have advocated that their physical wellbeing be taken care of first,the spiritual can follow later.


Taxes are oppressive. The worst is the inheritance tax. This money is taken once and then again. This is not just wrong, it is evil greed to the core it seems. A flat tax makes much more sense. It also seems to be more reasonable to allow a families property to remain in the family apart form any tax in the transfer. Our nation would be much more wealthy if families could compound their resources for the other members of the family. As it stands, the law transfers land with inequity. Wealth doesn't bother me, but there should be a limit to how much capital one person can obtain and retain in times of world need. Not that socialism is the answer, but some form of sanity is needed so that 1% of the population doesn't hold 90% of the wealth. This is just wrong.

A better system would be to legislate that 60% of a nations wealth must be accessible to the economy at large. This way, the other 40% could be held privately. One thing is for certain: This will all eventually be set right.



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 12:45 PM
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reply to post by SuperiorEd
 


No I mean, I guess what I'm asking is, why the need to minimalize human existence? if we were made in gods image, then all he does is moves and thinks, yet both man and god create, we provide, we destroy, we exist. There are so many things that go so much deeper than thought, even though you see it as the center.

That's partly where Im confused. In my first post, you said I pretty much restated, which I did actually, consider the raven, but even with that, animals do even less than man. Why imply disparity?
edit on 27-8-2011 by Nephalim because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 12:45 PM
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Right. I was pretty careful to word it so that the obvious answer comes to light. This really needs to be understood. We are only able to do two things in life. This is really a simple idea. We can then use those two things to deduce the rest by obviousness. We are designed in an image, just like Genesis 1:27 states. For me, this truth is very liberating. I don't need anything that I really value in life besides the truth of where I originate. The source takes care of the rest. I am then free to think and move with confidence, showing love to others. That's a good truth to know.


Originally posted by Akragon
reply to post by SuperiorEd
 


edit on 27-8-2011 by SuperiorEd because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 12:50 PM
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Good point on the Raven. I don't want to imply minimization. It is actually the opposite. Knowing that truth is just this simple allows us to see the possibilities are endless. We make them complicated. Truth is simple. We are created in love in a way that allows the two things we can do to blossom like a flower in a field. Apart from this gift, we would not be here in the image reflecting on the truth.

Here is a great quote:

“Future bliss can neither be imagined, explained, nor described. We know nothing of its nature, form, greatness, or beauty, its quantity or quality. This much one should know, the phrase, "the world to come," does not imply that it is a world yet to be called into existence; it exists already, but the phrase is employed to describe the life into which those who are in the present stage of existence will be transposed when they throw off this mortal coil.”


Originally posted by Nephalim



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 06:49 PM
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Originally posted by nake13
reply to post by SuperiorEd
 


For a start,scrap the exorbitant tax rates levied on the poorer strata of society,ditto the fuel and heating taxes,i'm sure that your Jesus would have advocated that their physical wellbeing be taken care of first,the spiritual can follow later.


Lol, no Jesus advocated the opposite, you got it ass backwards. To Jesus the physical body was a hindrence, and it only weakens our spirit by its fleshly desires.



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