2) It’s Not a Sin to Be Poor
In a culture obsessed with consumerism, money is seen as the ultimate form of power and success, but it’s not a sin to be poor. For Christians, especially middle-class Westernized believers, it’s easy to assume the worst of the poor. We blame them for not working, being lazy, having drug addictions, making poor choices, and not trying hard enough.
We often equate financial worth with personal value, and we place the poor in the lowest system of our preconceived (often subconscious) human caste systems. We treat them accordingly—bad, and are continually blaming, humiliating, and shaming them through our condescending criticism, “instruction,” and judgment.
We need to remember that being poor in and of itself isn’t a sin and doesn’t make a person less valuable in the eyes of God—if only Christians could realize this.
This is the second post of five for reasons to help the poor as cited by Stephen Mattson.
I know the above comments are probably at the heart of many who have an ingrained prejudice against the poor. We blame them for things that at least partially are their own faults. We blame them for making poor choices that might have contributed to them being poor.
I, like many others evidently, was very turned off my Mr. Romney’s 47% comment. He basically said being poor was their own fault and we should let them stew in their own makings. We Christians far too easily treat the poor as if their sins are somehow worse than ours and that therefore they don’t deserve grace from us or society at large. Being firmly entrenched in the Quaker belief that there is the light of God in each and every one of us, I do my best to realize that being poor is not a sin and even if it were we should forgive that sin as God forgives ours. After all isn’t the phrase “forgive us our sins as we forgive others” found in the Lord’s prayer applicable today as it was two thousand years ago. It is about time we started living up to that pledge we recite so often.