Who Are We to Judge the Poor?
Americans are horrible savers. On average, we save less than 5% of all our earned income. Despite this, we routinely think of the poor as people who deserve their lowly status. “They squander their money away on drugs, alcohol, and bad habits!” is a common excuse for not giving anything directly to the poor.
The truth is, we probably aren’t that much better with our resources. While we complain about the habits of the homeless, we go to the movies, buy new clothes, watch Netflix, eat junk food, and squander our income.
The point is, it doesn’t matter how the poor became poor. God continually instructs His followers to be humble and nonjudgmental. So why do we keep condemning the poor, alienating them, creating laws to hurt them, persecuting them, and downright abandoning them
This is the third installment of the five reasons Stephen Mattson gives for helping the poor.
I can’t tell you how many times I sat in an Evangelical Lutheran adult bible class and heard the comments below.
“Those people who are homeless deserve what they got because…”
It seemed very easy to dismiss unconditionally helping the poor because they made some pretty stupid mistakes in their lives.
“If only they would just pull themselves up..”
“Doesn’t the bible say the poor will always be with us, so that must mean we don’t need to worry about it…”
There seemed to be a myriad of reasons spouted about why we don’t have to help the poor.
And then there are the words of Jesus who very directly told us again and again to do just that.