Proverbs 22:16

The one who oppresses the poor to increase his own gain
and the one who gives to the rich—both end up only in poverty.

I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but it’s happened to me. It’s been a hard lesson to learn too. We have a heritage of making gifts in our family. Particularly ones made out of wood. Gifts like stools and tables and book shelves. They’re nice, well-made items. They’re not fancy by any means, but they are nice.

There have been a lot of good memories surrounding the giving of some of these gifts. And I enjoy hearing the stories about how those gifts have been treasured for many years. Some people still have the gifts that Dad and I made when I was in elementary school. That’s a nice feeling.

But, then there are others. Sometimes they’re rich, sometimes not. But, I made them a gift. I put some time into doing something personal for them. Sacrificed spending time with my family to make the gift. Only to have them trash it, forget about it, sell it in a yard sale or throw it away. That’s not a nice feeling.

That’s what happens when you give to the rich. Because of their wealth, you will often find that the rich don’t have the same appreciation for things as you. They are able to afford much nicer things than you. So, the fact that you gave them something doesn’t really mean that much to them. There’s a very good chance that the thought won’t even count.

So, if you give to the rich, a lot of times it’s just a waste of money. Granted it’s not always this way. There are those who are able appreciate thing. But they’re the exception. For the most part, they might be polite and say thank you, but in the end they don’t really care about what you gave. And chances are good that your gift will quickly find it’s way to Goodwill.

Even worse are those who oppress the poor to get rich. It’s a degeneration of conscience to not appreciate a gift, but the conscience must greatly deteriorate to get to the point of oppressing the poor to get wealthy.

The thing is, as someone’s conscience deteriorates, so will everything else about them. Eventually, they won’t be able to make any decision that doesn’t involve hurting others to gain. And eventually, they will find themselves having taking advantage of everyone and leaving themselves no one or no thing to provide for them. They will end up in poverty.

So, appreciate gifts that are given to you, think about who you give gifts to and don’t take advantage of the poor.

It really is the thought that counts.