Tuesday, July 5, 2016

2 Nephi 28:3 -- On Figurative Thievery, and Generous Sacrifice

"They rob the poor because of their fine sanctuaries; they rob the poor because of their fine clothing; and they persecute the meek and the poor in heart, because in their pride they are puffed up."
2 Nephi 28:3

This verse doesn't seem to be talking about literally robbing the poor, but figuratively robbing them.  It's an interesting idea that perhaps we should ponder. Are we spending so much for luxuries that we are robbing the poor of what we *could* have given to them?  This verse says that the people were robbing the poor because of their fine sanctuaries and their fine clothing, and persecuting the meek because of pride.  Again, I'm thinking that the persecution wasn't literal either, but it was persecution because raising ourselves up only serves to exacerbate the disparity between rich and poor further.

I don't think that the Lord is asking us to wear rags or to build cardboard houses.  But I do think that we could sacrifice more, and give more, to people that don't have as much as we do.  Do we really need to spend the money on the extra luxurious or brand name versions of things that are already functional and beautiful at a much lower cost?  Perhaps the Lord is asking us to include other factors into our budgets, such as helping other people and relieving suffering.

Today, let's not be puffed up, thinking that we're cooler or better than other people because of what we have.  Instead of assuming that others brought on their own misfortune, let's think about times when things have gone wrong for us that were beyond our control.  Let's have compassion on others without assumptions.  Let's stop figuratively robbing others by overspending on things that we really don't need.  Instead, let's find a way to help by giving up something we wanted, and blessing someone else instead.

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