He who despises his neighbor sins; but he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he. (Proverbs 14:21)
Someone once asked Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?" To which he gave the illustration of the "Good Samaritan." The neighbor was the man in need. Therefore the people we know who are in need are our neighbors—and everyone we know is in need. Our calling is to demonstrate mercy. The world is our neighbor. To despise those in need is in a word, “Sin.” If someone has wronged you or deeply wounded you, they are in need of forgiveness. If they are angry or have hurt feelings they need healing. If estranged, they need restoration. If bitter, they need sweetening—and the list goes on. It is much easier to despise than to show mercy, but as the apostle James says, “Mercy triumphs over judgment.” And our text adds, “Happy is he.” Bitterness, wrath, anger and the like take a lot of energy; and the energy it takes is positive. All that is left is negative energy and we know its destruction.