Do not rob the poor because he is poor, nor oppress the afflicted at the gate; for the Lord will plead their cause (Proverbs 22:22-23)
How can the poor we robbed? What do they have worth taking? The answer obviously cannot be material belongings. The only thing that can be taken from the poor is their dreams, hopes and desires. I have found that those who steal these things from the poor are the very people who claim to be helping them the most: those who aid them in their poverty by giving them just enough to survive. This is the dilemma of most welfare systems. They steal dignity and make people totally dependent on a system of hopelessness. Both government and churches do it—people meaning to do good or at least make themselves feel good. We are not to use the poor to satisfy our need to give. We are to reach out to the poor and give them what they need: hope, dreams and desires. As the cliché goes, they need a hand up not a hand out.