Whether rich or poor
I've officiated a lot of weddings this year. The privilege of joining two separate lives and families together in matrimony is one of the highest a minister has. During the ceremony, the vows are a powerful reminder of the deep commitment being made between husband and wife. In many of the vows that couples choose, the following phrase is a stunner:
Whether rich or poor...
In addition to the other vows they make to each other, the couple is stating that regardless of changing circumstances, their commitment to each other will not waver. You cannot be less committed to your spouse simply because "things" changed. The vow a couple makes to one another ensures that shifting sands of temporal nature will not destroy the relationship.
I came across the following passage in Leviticus 19.15 while studying Bible for Life this week:
“You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor." (ESV)
God's demand for impartiality is huge. It's a principle of relationships carried over into the New Testament as well. We are not allowed to show partiality - whether to the poor or to the rich. We are commanded to treat all people equally, with discernment as to righteousness.
It's less than one month until Election Day 2012. It seems that one party has seized on its desire to curry the favor of the poor by penalizing the rich. Another party is accused of the opposite. Yet politicians in both parties have obscene personal bank accounts.
It's not righteous to prefer the poor. Neither is it a sign of godliness to brownnose the rich.
It's biblical. We understand the commitment to one another in a marriage, regardless of circumstances. What would happen if we practiced loving one another in our society in the same way? A sincere love for people, regardless of socioeconomics, is the path of righteousness. Don't allow poverty or the generation of wealth to be a cause for you. Pursue love for all people.