Pro 14:21 He who despises his neighbor sins, But happy is he who is gracious to the poor.
The one who hates….is a sinner, an easy trap to fall into, especially nowadays when we are given so much information about people, the internet is full of just information about various topics, politicians, schools of thought…it is information overload, and all this info makes it relatively easy for us to dislike someone. Given our sinful ways, the one thing that typically unifies people is a common hatred for another group of people. If we think about the political parties, they are typically brought together by a common disdain they have for the other guys, not because they get along, but because they can’t stand the other group so much…like Michael Corleone said; the enemy of my enemy is my friend…while pop culture may celebrate that Godfather of some kind of Magna Carta to modernity, God’s Word, which is what matters, tells us that despising our neighbor is actually a sin. When we get caught up in interacting with everyone on the World Wide Web, we can very easily fall into this trap of despising our neighbor, no wonder Proverbs is always warning us to keep quiet!
Today’s Proverb is two fold, while we learn that it is evil to hate our fellow man, we also learn what brings us joy, helping others “Happy is he who is gracious to the poor”. If there is one thing in this fallen and broken world that can bring about happiness, it is Christlikeness. That’s the only real contentment we have, and when we do what Christ tells us “taking up our cross and follow Him”, we enjoy that non-worldly happiness and part of that is helping the poor. Christ came to help sinners, in fact He died for sinners, including us — Being Christlike, means putting the needs of others, in this case the poor, above our own wants and needs, and as today’s Proverbs tell us, that makes one happy. So summing it all up, hating others is a sin, but helping the poor brings happiness.