Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Praying for Leaders: Why, When, and How

Regardless of where one is on the political spectrum, all must agree that our societies and leaders face great challenges. So how do we respond?

Scripture is clear: we must pray. Jeremiah 29:7 tells us to pray for the societies we live in. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 directs “that petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving should be offered ... for kings and others in authority, so that we may be able to live peaceful and quiet lives”(New Jerusalem Bible). Similar instructions are given in Baruch 1:10-12.

Those instructions apply even—and especially—when we would choose a different course for society or different leaders.  They were given to folks who were probably unhappy with their societies/leaders; they were living in hostile societies with less than ideal leaders. Any doubt on this is removed by Jesus' command to “pray for those who persecute you[.]” Matthew 5:44  (New Jerusalem Bible). Given the breadth of our challenges and our divided politics, everybody has concerns about something or some leader, so everybody  should be praying.

So how do we do that? None of us know all the details about our problems or leaders, but God does. His word gives us at least two sets of directions on how to pray about these matters.

The first is to simply get started, regardless of our ability to articulate specific requests. The scriptures discussed above are open ended. Start by praying over them and let the Holy Spirit take over. Romans 8:26 tells us that the Spirit “comes to help us in our weakness, for, when we do not know how to pray properly… the Spirit personally makes our petitions for us in groans that cannot be put into words” (New Jerusalem Bible). God will “get it” even if we can’t clearly say it.

The second is to pray over scriptures discussing how societies and leaders ought and ought not to be. There are a LOT of those scriptures, coalescing around principles  believers of all political backgrounds can agree on. They can direct our prayers, and through them, our societies and leaders. Those scriptures will be detailed in later posts, but are covered in broad strokes here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Wisdom Principles: It is Human Nature to Treat the Poor Poorly (but that’s wrong)
Deuteronomy 15:7-11
If there is among you a poor man, one of your brethren, in any of your towns within your land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him, and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Take heed lest there be a base thought in your heart, and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye be hostile to your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and it be sin in you. 10 You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him; because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. 11 For the poor will never cease out of the land; therefore I command you, You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in the land.
Proverbs 14:20
The poor is detestable even to a friend, but many are they who love someone rich.
One who despises the needy is at fault, one who takes pity on the poor is blessed.
Proverbs 18:23
The language of the poor is entreaty, the answer of the rich harshness.
Proverbs 19:4
Wealth multiplies friends, but the one friend the poor has is taken away.
Proverbs 19:6-7
The nobleman has many to court his favor, to a giver of gifts, everyone is friend.7 The poor man's brothers hate him, every one; his friends -- how much the more do these desert him! He goes in search of words, but there are none to be had.
Sirach 13:3
The rich does wrong and takes a high line; the poor is wronged and has to beg for pardon.
Sirach 13:4-7
If you are useful the rich will exploit you, if you go bankrupt he will desert you.5 Are you well off? - he will live with you, he will clean you out without a single qualm.6 Does he need you? - he will hoodwink you, smile at you and raise your hopes; he will speak politely to you and say, “Is there anything you need?”7 He will make you feel small at his dinner parties and, having cleaned you out two or three times over, will end by laughing at you. Afterwards, when he sees you, he will avoid you and shake his head about you.
Sirach 13:21-23
When the rich stumbles he is supported by friends; when the poor falls, his friends push him away. 22 When the rich slips, there are many hands to catch him, if he talks nonsense he is congratulated. The poor slips, and is blamed for it, he may talk good sense, but no room is made for him. 23 The rich speaks and everyone stops talking, and then they praise his discourse to the skies. The poor speaks and people say, “Who is this?” and if he stumbles, they trip him up yet more.
1 Corinthians 1:26-29
Consider, brothers, how you were called; not many of you are wise by human standards, not many influential, not many from noble families.27 No, God chose those who by human standards are fools to shame the wise; he chose those who by human standards are weak to shame the strong,28 those who by human standards are common and contemptible -- indeed those who count for nothing -- to reduce to nothing all those that do count for something,29 so that no human being might feel boastful before God.
1 Corinthians 11:22
have you such disregard for God's assembly that you can put to shame those who have nothing? What am I to say to you? Congratulate you? On this I cannot congratulate you.
James 2:1-7
My brothers, do not let class distinction enter into your faith in Jesus Christ, our glorified Lord.2 Now suppose a man comes into your synagogue, well-dressed and with a gold ring on, and at the same time a poor man comes in, in shabby clothes, 3 and you take notice of the well-dressed man, and say, “Come this way to the best seats”; then you tell the poor man, “Stand over there” or “You can sit on the floor by my foot-rest.” 4 In making this distinction among yourselves have you not used a corrupt standard? 5 Listen, my dear brothers: it was those who were poor according to the world that God chose, to be rich in faith and to be the heirs to the kingdom which he promised to those who love him. 6 You, on the other hand, have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who lord it over you? 7 Are not they the ones who drag you into court, who insult the honorable name which has been pronounced over you?
1 John 3:17
If anyone is well-off in worldly possessions and sees his brother in need but closes his heart to him, how can the love of God be remaining in him?

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Wisdom Principles—Parents & Children

Genesis 9:18-27
The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth-Ham being the father of Canaan.19These three were Noah's sons, and from these the whole earth was peopled.
20 Noah, a tiller of the soil, was the first to plant the vine. 21 He drank some of the wine, and while he was drunk, he lay uncovered in his tent. 22 Ham, father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside.
23 Shem and Japheth took a cloak and they both put it over their shoulders, and walking backwards, covered their father's nakedness; they kept their faces turned away, and they did not look at their father naked.
24 When Noah awoke from his stupor he learned what his youngest son had done to him, 25 and said: Accursed be Canaan, he shall be his brothers' meanest slave. 26 He added: Blessed be Yahweh, God of Shem, let Canaan be his slave! 27 May God make space for Japheth, may he live in the tents of Shem, and let Canaan be his slave!
Exodus 20:12
Honor your father and your mother so that you may live long in the land that Yahweh your God is giving you.
Exodus 21:15
Anyone who strikes father or mother will be put to death.
Exodus 21:17
Anyone who curses father or mother will be put to death.
Leviticus 19:3
Each of you will respect father and mother.
Leviticus 20:9
Anyone who curses father or mother will be put to death. Having cursed father or mother, the blood will be on that person's own head.
Deuteronomy 5:16
Honor your father and your mother, as Yahweh your God has commanded you, so that you may have long life and may prosper in the country which Yahweh your God is giving you.
Deuteronomy 8:2-5
Remember the long road by which Yahweh your God led you for forty years in the desert, to humble you, to test you and know your inmost heart -- whether you would keep his commandments or not.3 He humbled you, he made you feel hunger, he fed you with manna which neither you nor your ancestors had ever known, to make you understand that human beings live not on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of Yahweh.4 The clothes on your back did not wear out and your feet were not swollen, all those forty years.
5 'Learn from this that Yahweh your God was training you as a man trains his child
Deuteronomy 27:16
Accursed be anyone who treats father or mother dishonorably." And the people must all say, Amen.
Tobit 4:3-4
He summoned his son Tobias and told him, 'When I die, give me an honorable burial. Honor your mother, and never abandon her all the days of your life. Do all that she wants, and give her no reason for sorrow. 4 Remember, my child, all the risks she ran for your sake when you were in her womb. And when she dies, bury her at my side in the same grave.
Psalm 128:3-6
Your wife a fruitful vine in the inner places of your house. Your children round your table like shoots of an olive tree. 4 Such are the blessings that fall on those who fear Yahweh. 5 May Yahweh bless you from Zion! May you see Jerusalem prosper all the days of your life, 6 and live to see your children's children!
Proverbs 3:1-2
My child, do not forget my teaching, let your heart keep my principles,2 since they will increase your length of days, your years of life and your well-being.
Proverbs 3:11-12
My child, do not scorn correction from Yahweh, do not resent his reproof;12 for Yahweh reproves those he loves, as a father the child whom he loves.
Proverbs 4:1-5
Listen, my children, to a father's instruction; pay attention, and learn what understanding is. 2 What I am offering you is sound doctrine: do not forsake my teaching. 3 I too was once a child with a father, in my mother's eyes a tender child, unique.
4 This was what he used to teach me, 'Let your heart treasure what I have to say, keep my principles and you will live; 5 acquire wisdom, acquire understanding, never forget her, never deviate from my words.
Proverbs 5:1-2
My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen carefully to what I know; 2 so that you may preserve discretion and your lips may guard knowledge.
Proverbs 5:7
And now, son, listen to me, never deviate from what I say
Proverbs 10:1
A wise child is a father's joy, a foolish child a mother's grief.
Proverbs 13:24
Whoever fails to use the stick hates his child; whoever is free with correction loves him.
Proverbs 17:6
The crown of the aged is their children's children; the children's glory is their father.
Proverbs 17:25
A foolish child is a father's sorrow, and the grief of her who gave the child birth.
Proverbs 19:13
A foolish child is a disaster for the father
Proverbs 19:18
While there is hope for him, chastise your child, but do not get so angry as to kill him.
Proverbs 19:26
He who ill-treats his father and drives out his mother is a child both worthless and depraved.
Proverbs 20:20
Whoever curses father or mother will have his lamp put out in the deepest darkness.
Proverbs 22:6
Give a lad a training suitable to his character and, even when old, he will not go back on it.
Proverbs 22:15
Folly is anchored in the heart of a youth, the whip of instruction will rid him of it.
Proverbs 23:13-14
Do not be chary of correcting a child, a stroke of the cane is not likely to be fatal.14 Give him a stroke of the cane, you will save his soul from Sheol.
Proverbs 23:15-16
My child, if your heart is wise, then my own heart is glad, 16 and my inmost self rejoices when from your lips come honest words.
Proverbs 23:22
Listen to your father from whom you are sprung, do not despise your mother in her old age.
Proverbs 28:24
Whoever robs father and mother saying, 'Nothing wrong in that!' is comrade for a brigand.
 Proverbs 29:15
The stick and the reprimand bestow wisdom, a young man left to himself brings shame on his mother.
Correct your child, and he will give you peace of mind; he will delight your soul.
Proverbs 30:17
The eye which looks jeeringly on a father, and scorns the obedience due to a mother, will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley, and eaten by the vultures.
Sirach 3:1-16
Children, listen to me for I am your father: do what I tell you, and so be safe;
2 for the Lord honors the father above his children and upholds the rights of a mother over her sons.
3 Whoever respects a father expiates sins,
4 whoever honors a mother is like someone amassing a fortune.
5 Whoever respects a father will in turn be happy with children, the day he prays for help, he will be heard.
6 Long life comes to anyone who honors a father, whoever obeys the Lord makes a mother happy.
7 Such a one serves parents as well as the Lord.
8 Respect your father in deed as well as word, so that blessing may come on you from him;
9 since a father's blessing makes his children's house firm, while a mother's curse tears up its foundations.
10 Do not make a boast of disgrace overtaking your father, your father's disgrace reflects no honor on you;
11 for a person's own honor derives from the respect shown to his father, and a mother held in dishonor is a reproach to her children.
12 My child, support your father in his old age, do not grieve him during his life.
13 Even if his mind should fail, show him sympathy, do not despise him in your health and strength;
14 for kindness to a father will not be forgotten but will serve as reparation for your sins.
15 On your own day of ordeal God will remember you: like frost in sunshine, your sins will melt away.
16 Whoever deserts a father is no better than a blasphemer, and whoever distresses a mother is accursed of the Lord.
Sirach 6:18
My child, from your earliest youth choose instruction, and till your hair is white you will keep finding wisdom.
Sirach 30:1-13
Whoever loves his son will beat him frequently so that in after years the son may be his comfort.
2 Whoever is strict with his son will reap the benefit, and be able to boast of him to his acquaintances.
3 Whoever educates his son will be the envy of his enemy, and will be proud of him among his friends.
4 Even when the father dies, he might well not be dead, since he leaves his likeness behind him.
5 In life he has had the joy of his company, dying, he has no anxieties.
6 He leaves an avenger against his enemies and a rewarder of favors for his friends.
7 Whoever coddles his son will bandage his wounds, his heart will turn over at every cry.
8 A badly broken-in horse turns out stubborn, a son left to himself turns out headstrong.
9 Pamper your child and he will terrorize you, play along with him and he will bring you sorrow.
10 Do not laugh with him, or one day you will weep with him and end up gnashing your teeth.
11 While he is young, do not allow him his freedom and do not wink at his mistakes.
12 Bend his neck in youth, bruise his ribs while he is a child, or else he will grow stubborn and disobedient, and hurt you very deeply.
13 Be strict with your son, and persevere with him, or you will rue his insolence.
Sirach 42:9-11
Unknown to her, a daughter keeps her father awake, the worry she gives him drives away his sleep: in her youth, in case she never marries, married, in case she should be disliked, 10 as a virgin, in case she should be defiled and found with child in her father's house, having a husband, in case she goes astray, married, in case she should be sterile!
11 Your daughter is headstrong? Keep a sharp look-out that she does not make you the laughing-stock of your enemies, the talk of the town, the object of common gossip, and put you to public shame.
Matthew 15:1-6
Then Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem came to Jesus and said,
2 'Why do your disciples break away from the tradition of the elders? They eat without washing their hands.'
3 He answered, 'And why do you break away from the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?
4 For God said, "Honor your father and your mother" and "Anyone who curses his father or mother will be put to death."
5 But you say, "If anyone says to his father or mother: Anything I might have used to help you is dedicated to God,
6 he is rid of his duty to father or mother." In this way you have made God's word ineffective by means of your tradition.
Ephesians 6:1-4
Children, be obedient to your parents in the Lord -- that is what uprightness demands. 2 The first commandment that has a promise attached to it is: Honor your father and your mother, 3 and the promise is: so that you may have long life and prosper in the land.
4 And parents, never drive your children to resentment but bring them up with correction and advice inspired by the Lord.
Colossians 3:20-21
Children, be obedient to your parents always, because that is what will please the Lord.21 Parents, do not irritate your children or they will lose heart.
1 Timothy 5:4
If a widow has children or grandchildren, they are to learn first of all to do their duty to their own families and repay their debt to their parents, because this is what pleases God.
1 Timothy 5:8
Anyone who does not look after his own relations, especially if they are living with him, has rejected the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Perseverance is part of your training; God is treating you as his sons. Has there ever been any son whose father did not train him? 8If you were not getting this training, as all of you are, then you would be not sons but bastards.
9Besides, we have all had our human fathers who punished us, and we respected them for it; all the more readily ought we to submit to the Father of spirits, and so earn life. 10Our human fathers were training us for a short life and according to their own lights; but he does it all for our own good, so that we may share his own holiness.
11Of course, any discipline is at the time a matter for grief, not joy; but later, in those who have undergone it, it bears fruit in peace and uprightness. 12So steady all weary hands and trembling knees. 

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Wisdom Principles—The Company You Keep…

Genesis 49:6
May my soul not enter their council nor my heart join their company, for in their rage they have killed men and hamstrung oxen at their whim.
Psalm 1:1
How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the wicked and does not take a stand in the path that sinners tread, nor a seat in company with cynics
Psalm 26:4-5
No sitting with wastrels for me, no travelling with hypocrites;5 I hate the company of sinners, I refuse to sit down with the wicked.
Psalm 40:4
How blessed are those who put their trust in Yahweh, who have not sided with rebels and those who have gone astray in falsehood.
Proverbs 1:10
My child, if sinners try to seduce you, do not go with them.

Proverbs 2:10-16
When wisdom comes into your heart and knowledge fills your soul with delight, 11 then prudence will be there to watch over you, and understanding will be your guardian 12 to keep you from the way that is evil, from those whose speech is deceitful, 13 from those who leave the paths of honesty to walk the roads of darkness: 14 those who find their joy in doing wrong, and their delight in deceitfulness, 15 whose tracks are twisted, and the paths that they tread crooked. 16 To keep you, too, from the woman who belongs to another, from the stranger, with her wheedling words;
Proverbs 2:20
tread the way of good people, persisting in the paths of the upright.
Proverbs 3:31
Do not envy the man of violence, never model your conduct on his
Proverbs 7:6-27
While I was at the window of my house, I was looking out through the lattice 7 and I saw, among the callow youths, I noticed among the lads, one boy who had no sense. 8 Going along the lane, near the corner where she lives, he reaches the path to her house, 9 at twilight when day is declining, at dead of night and in the dark. 10 And look, a woman is coming to meet him, dressed like a prostitute, false of heart. 11 She is loud and brazen; her feet cannot rest at home. 12 Once in the street, once in the square, she lurks at every corner.13 She catches hold of him, she kisses him, the bold-faced creature says to him, 14 'I had to offer a communion sacrifice, I have discharged my vows today; 15 that is why I came out to meet you, to look for you, and now I have found you. 16 I have spread coverlets over my divan, embroidered stuff, Egyptian material, 17 I have sprinkled my bed with myrrh, with aloes and cinnamon.18 Come on, we'll make love as much as we like, till morning. Let us enjoy the delights of love! 19 For my husband is not at home, he has gone on a very long journey, 20 taking his moneybags with him; he will not be back till the moon is full.' 21 With her persistent coaxing she overcomes him, lures him on with her wheedling patter. 22 Forthwith he follows her, like an ox on its way to the slaughterhouse, like a madman on his way to the stocks, 23 until an arrow pierces him to the liver, like the bird that dashes into the net without realizing that its life is at stake. 24 And now, son, listen to me, pay attention to the words I have to say: 25 do not let your heart stray into her ways, or wander into her paths; 26 she has done so many to death, and the strongest have all been her victims. 27 Her house is the way to Sheol, the descent to the courts of death.
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, whoever mixes with fools will be ruined.
Proverbs 14:7
Keep well clear of the fool
Proverbs 22:24-25  
Do not make friends with one who gives way to anger, make no one quick-tempered a companion of yours, 25 for fear you learn such behavior and in it find a snare for yourself.
Proverbs 23:6-7
Do not eat the food of anyone whose eye is jealous, do not hanker for his delicacies. 7 For what he is really thinking about is himself: 'Eat and drink,' he tells you, but his heart is not with you.
Proverbs 23:9
Do not waste words on a fool, who will not appreciate the shrewdness of your remarks.
Proverbs 23:17
Do not let your heart be envious of sinners but remain steady every day in the fear of Yahweh
Proverbs 24:1
Do not be envious of the wicked or wish for their company
Proverbs 25:6-7
In the presence of the king do not give yourself airs, do not take a place among the great; 7 better to be invited, 'Come up here', than be humiliated in the presence of the prince.
Proverbs 26:4
Do not answer a fool in the terms of his folly for fear you grow like him yourself.
Proverbs 27:10
Do not give up your friend or your father's friend; when trouble comes, do not go off to your brother's house, better a near neighbor than a distant brother.
Proverbs 28:7
an associate of profligates brings shame on his father.
Sirach 4:5
Do not avert your eyes from the needy
Sirach 4:8
To the poor lend an ear, and courteously return the greeting.
Sirach 6:34
Attend the gathering of elders; if there is a wise man there, attach yourself to him.
Sirach 6:36
If you see a man of understanding, visit him early, let your feet wear out his doorstep.
Sirach 7:34
Do not turn your back on those who weep, but share the grief of the grief-stricken.
Sirach 8:3
Do not argue with anyone argumentative, do not pile wood on that fire.
Sirach 8:4
Do not joke with anyone uncouth, for fear of hearing your ancestors insulted.
Sirach 8:5
Do not revile a repentant sinner; remember that we all are guilty.
Sirach 8:6
Do not despise anyone in old age; after all, some of us too are growing old.
Sirach 8:9
Do not dismiss what the old people have to say, for they too were taught by their parents; from them you will learn how to think, and the art of the timely answer.
Sirach 8:11
Refuse to be provoked by the insolent, for fear that such a one try to trap you in your words.
Sirach 8:15
Do not go travelling with a rash man, for fear he becomes burdensome to you; he will act as the whim takes him, and you will both be ruined by his folly.
Sirach 8:16
Do not argue with a quick-tempered man, do not go with him where there are no other people, since blood counts for nothing in his eyes, and where no help is to be had, he will strike you down.
Sirach 8:17
Do not ask a fool for advice, since a fool will not be able to keep a confidence.
Sirach 8:18
In a stranger's presence do nothing that should be kept secret, since you cannot tell what use the stranger will make of it.
Sirach 8:19
Do not open your heart to all comers, nor lay claim to their good offices.
Sirach 9:10
Do not desert an old friend; the new one will not be his match. New friend, new wine; when it grows old, you drink it with pleasure.
Sirach 9:11
Do not envy the sinner his success; you do not know how that will end.
Sirach 9:13
Keep your distance from the man who has the power to put to death, and you will not be haunted by the fear of dying. If you do approach him, make no false move, or he may take your life. Realize that you are treading among trip-lines, that you are strolling on the battlements.
Sirach 9:14
Cultivate your neighbors to the best of your ability, and consult with the wise.
Sirach 9:15
For conversation seek the intelligent, let all your discussions bear on the law of the Most High.
Sirach 9:16
Have the upright for your table companions, and let your pride be in fearing the Lord.
Sirach 11:2
Do not praise anyone for good looks, nor dislike anyone for mere appearance.
Sirach 11:21
Do not admire the achievements of sinners, trust the Lord and mind your own business
Sirach 11:29-31
Do not bring everyone home with you, for many are the traps of the crafty.
30 Like a captive partridge in a cage, so is the heart of the proud: like a spy he watches for your downfall, 31 ever on the look-out, turning good into bad and finding fault with what is praiseworthy.
Sirach 11:33
Beware of a scoundrel and his evil contrivances, in case he puts a smear on you for ever.
Sirach 12:10-12, 15
Do not ever trust an enemy; as bronze tarnishes, so does an enemy's malice.11 Even if he behaves humbly and comes bowing and scraping, maintain your reserve and be on your guard against him. Behave towards him as if you were polishing a mirror, you will find that his tarnish cannot last.12 Do not stand him beside you in case he thrusts you out and takes your place. Do not seat him on your right, or he will be after your position, and then you will remember what I have said and sadly admit that I was right.
15 He will stay with you for a while, but if you once give way he will press his advantage.
Sirach 12:13-14
Who feels sorry for a snake-charmer bitten by a snake, or for those who take risks with savage animals? -14 just so for one who consorts with a sinner, and becomes an accomplice in his sins.
Sirach 12:16-18
An enemy may have sweetness on his lips, and in his heart a scheme to throw you into the ditch. An enemy may have tears in his eyes, but if he gets a chance there can never be too much blood for him. 17 If you meet with misfortune, you will find him there before you, and, pretending to help you, he will trip you up.18 He will wag his head and clap his hands, he will whisper a lot and his expression will change.
Sirach 13:1
Whoever touches pitch will be defiled, and anyone who associates with the proud will come to be like them.
Sirach 13:2
Do not try to carry a burden too heavy for you, do not associate with someone more powerful and wealthy than yourself. Why put the clay pot next to the iron cauldron? It will only break when they bang against each other.
Sirach 13:4-7
If you are useful the rich will exploit you, if you go bankrupt he will desert you. 5 Are you well off? - he will live with you, he will clean you out without a single qualm.6 Does he need you? - he will hoodwink you, smile at you and raise your hopes; he will speak politely to you and say, 'Is there anything you need?' 7 He will make you feel small at his dinner parties and, having cleaned you out two or three times over, will end by laughing at you. Afterwards, when he sees you, he will avoid you and shake his head about you.
Sirach 13:9-11
When an influential person invites you, show reluctance, and he will press his invitation all the more.10 Do not thrust yourself forward, in case you are pushed aside, but do not stand aloof, or you will be overlooked. 11 Do not affect to treat him as an equal, do not trust his flow of words; since all this talking is expressly meant to test you, under cover of geniality he will be weighing you up.
Sirach 13:12-13
Pitiless is anyone who retails gossip; he will not spare you either blows or chains.13 Be wary, take very great care, because you are walking with your own downfall.
Sirach 13:16-18
Every living thing loves its own sort, and every man his fellow. 16 Every creature mixes with its kind, and human beings stick to their own sort. 17 How can wolf and lamb agree? - Just so with sinner and devout.18 What peace can there be between hyena and dog? And what peace between rich and poor?
Sirach 22:13
Do not waste many words on the stupid, do not go near a dolt. Beware of him, or you will have trouble and be soiled by contact with him; keep away from him, and you will have peace of mind and not be exasperated by his folly.
Sirach 22:23
Win your neighbor’s confidence when he is poor, so that you may enjoy his later good fortune with him; stand by him in times of trouble, in order to have your share when he comes into a legacy.
Sirach 22:25
I shall not be ashamed to shelter a friend nor shall I hide away from him
Sirach 29:8
be patient with those who are badly off
Sirach 37:6
Do not forget the genuine friend, do not push him out of mind once you are rich.
Sirach 37:7-9
Any adviser will offer advice, but some are governed by self-interest.8 Beware of someone who offers advice; first find out what he wants himself- since his advice coincides with his own interest -- in case he has designs on you 9 and tells you, 'You are on the right road,' but stands well clear to see what will happen to you.
Sirach 37:10
Do not consult anyone who looks at you askance, conceal your plans from people jealous of you.
Sirach 37:11
Do not consult a woman about her rival, or a coward about war, a merchant about prices, or a buyer about selling, anyone mean about gratitude, or anyone selfish about kindness, a lazy fellow about any sort of work, or a casual worker about finishing a job, an idle servant about a major undertaking-- do not rely on these for any advice.
Sirach 37:12
But have constant recourse to some devout person, whom you know to be a keeper of the commandments, whose soul matches your own, and who, if you go wrong, will be sympathetic.
Jeremiah 15:17
I never sat in the company of scoffers amusing myself; with your hands on me I held myself aloof, since you had filled me with indignation.
Luke 14:12-14
When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relations or rich neighbors, in case they invite you back and so repay you.13 No; when you have a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;14 then you will be blessed, for they have no means to repay you and so you will be repaid when the upright rise again.
James 2:1-4
My brothers, do not let class distinction enter into your faith in Jesus Christ, our glorified Lord.2 Now suppose a man comes into your synagogue, well-dressed and with a gold ring on, and at the same time a poor man comes in, in shabby clothes,3 and you take notice of the well-dressed man, and say, 'Come this way to the best seats'; then you tell the poor man, 'Stand over there' or 'You can sit on the floor by my foot-rest.'4 In making this distinction among yourselves have you not used a corrupt standard?