Counsels on Stewardship


Chapter 33—Sympathy for the Poor

In view of what Heaven is doing to save the lost, how can those who are partakers of the riches of the grace of Christ withdraw their interest and their sympathies from their fellow men? How can they indulge in pride of rank or caste, and despise the unfortunate and the poor? CS 160.1

Yet it is too true that the pride of rank, and the oppression of the poor which prevail in the world, exist also among the professed followers of Christ. With many, the sympathies that ought to be exercised in full measure toward humanity, seem frozen up. Men appropriate to themselves the gifts entrusted to them wherewith to bless others. The rich grind the face of the poor, and use the means thus gained to indulge their pride and love of display even in the house of God. The poor are made to feel that it is too costly a thing for them to attend the service of God. The feeling exists with many that only the rich can engage in the public worship of God so as to make a good impression on the world. Were it not that the Lord has revealed His love to the poor and lowly who are contrite in heart, this world would be a sad place for the poor man.... CS 160.2

The world's Redeemer was the son of poor parents, and when in His infancy He was presented in the temple, His mother could bring only the offering appointed for the poor,—a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. He was the most precious gift of heaven to our world, a gift above all computation, yet it could be acknowledged only by the smallest offering. Our Saviour, during all His sojourn on earth, shared the lot of the poor and lowly. Self-denial and sacrifice characterized His life. CS 160.3

All the favors and blessings we enjoy are alone from Him; we are stewards of His grace and of His temporal gifts; the smallest talent and the humblest service may be offered to Jesus as a consecrated gift, and with the fragrance of His own merits He will present it to the Father. If the best we have is presented with a sincere heart, in love to God, from a longing desire to do service to Jesus, the gift is wholly acceptable. Everyone can lay up a treasure in the heavens. All can be “rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” CS 161.1

Bound By Ties of Sympathy

It is God's purpose that the rich and the poor shall be closely bound together by the ties of sympathy and helpfulness. He has a plan for us individually. To all who shall serve Him He has appointed a work. He bids us to interest ourselves in every case of suffering or need that shall come to our knowledge. CS 161.2

Our Lord Jesus Christ was rich, yet for our sake He became poor, that we through His poverty might be rich. He bids all whom He has entrusted with temporal blessings to follow His example. Jesus says, “Ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good.” The want and wretchedness in the world are constantly appealing to our compassion and sympathy, and the Saviour declares that ministry to the afflicted and suffering is the service most pleasing to Him. “Is it not,” He says, “to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?” We are to minister to the sick, to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, and to instruct the ignorant. CS 161.3

There are many who complain of God because the world is so full of want and suffering. But the Lord is a God of benevolence, and through His representatives, to whom He has entrusted His goods, He would have all the needs of His creatures supplied. He has made abundant provision for the wants of all, and if men did not abuse His gifts, and selfishly withhold them from their fellow men, none need suffer from want.—The Review and Herald, June 20, 1893. CS 162.1