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Can you spare a dime?

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In her insightful book The Forgotten Man, Amity Shlaes provides fascinating stories about what life was like during the Great Depression in the US. At the center of that economic drama was “the forgotten man,” a term used for the countless individuals who were thrown out of work.

A popular Depression-era song poignantly expresses their story:

They used to tell me I was building a dream, with peace and glory ahead.

Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?

Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time.

Once I built a railroad; now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime?

As the lyrics remind us, an economic downturn changes everything for hard-working people who lose their jobs. When that happens, we as Christians should do what we can for people in need.

In Galatians 2, Paul and Barnabas were reminded to evangelize and to “remember the poor” (v.10). We can see that Paul did just that—preaching the gospel and encouraging financial aid to those in need (Acts 11:29-30; 1 Cor. 16:1-3).

During tough economic times, we too should help people in need—spiritually and physically. A dime doesn’t go far these days, but a generous attitude does.

The poor and needy everywhere
Are objects of God’s love and care,
But they will always know despair
Unless His love with them we share. —D. De Haan
Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help another person up.
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