Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of Christian spirituality and sport.
No Poor, No Heaven
“Nobody gets into heaven without a letter of reference from the poor”-Rev. James Forbes
No Poor, No Pure
Life is full of irony. Often, the things we need the most are the things we neglect. Likewise, the things that are not truly valuable we tend to treasure. This phenomenon is typical in human relationships where we prefer to have connections with people of influence rather than with those who we believe cannot really benefit us. It sounds ugly but it is common.
Consider the poor, the homeless, orphans, widows or the disabled. Depending on the country where you live, their presence may be quite conspicuous. Needy persons test our hearts like few others can. Did you ever feel relief when approaching a red light, but it changed to green and allowed you to avoid the beggar who was walking towards your car? I know I have. To be honest, I judge some homeless people wondering if their need is genuine or if it is just a scam.
Yet, beyond the street dwellers there are so many others who can simply be ignored, neglected or labeled as lazy. I believe, though, that if we hear their stories and dig deeper, we would find that there is much more to their situation than their having made “bad” choices. Sometimes we just don’t know.
This is why I was sobered when I recently heard a paraphrase of the opening quote above while listening to a podcast on spiritual growth. How I treat the poor has eternal consequences. Jesus said as much in Matthew’s Gospel. The beauty of his teaching is that he encouraged people to care for the needy without fanfare. It is a private act of worship and service. God is meant to be your only audience. This keeps our hearts clean and promotes sincerity and genuine compassion. Poverty and purity, therefore, are interconnected.
No Poor, No Love
To love the poor is to truly love.
If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.