Don’t Cheat Orphans

Proverbs 23:10-11 — 10 Don’t stealthily move back the boundary lines or cheat orphans out of their property, 11 for they have a powerful Advocate who will go to bat for them (MSG).

James defined religion that is pure and acceptable to God as to look after orphans and widows (James 1:27). The conventional definition of an orphan is a child that does not have parents. Children become orphans for one of two reasons. They either lose both parents through death, or they are abandoned by their parents.

There are also countless children who are neglected by one or both of their parents. Mom, Dad, or both may be present in the child’s life, but they do not care for the child properly. There are still others whose parents are unable to meet their needs. The parents do their best to get by, but their efforts often fall short. While these children are not labeled as orphans in our current society, I believe the church should look after them as such.

My definition of an orphan is a child whose physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are not being met by his or her parents for whatever reason. Children whose needs are not being met are never at fault, and no child deserves to be neglected no matter the circumstances.

The Bible says not to cheat orphans. Most Christians know they should not be running around taking advantage of orphans, but I do believe many miss out on opportunities to bless them. How many children do you know whose needs are not being met for whatever reason? I believe we cheat them when we can help but don’t.

I want to encourage you today to become more aware of the needs around you. Maybe there is an orphanage nearby that you can volunteer at or support financially. Perhaps you can bless a family that’s barely getting by. Even if you are only able to do a little, it will mean a lot. Share God’s love through your generosity.

Isaiah 1:17 — Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow (NASB).

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