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Hard Choices

May 26, 2012

Giving to the poor is without question a good thing.  It usually helps.  It makes us feel good about ourselves and makes us look good to others.  We hope it makes us look good to God.  But what if He wants us to do more than give to the poor?  What if He wants us to help create a world where the poor do not exist?

What if our lives betray the lie of what we say we believe?  What if our giving masks the fact that our lives run counter to and undermine it?  What if it just helps us to support our self-image, convince ourselves that we care, that we really are the good people we want to be (and claim to be)?

What if we are in truth participating in the immorality, injustice and evil that contributes to poverty?  What if it is in our self-interest to do so?   What if we personally profit by our participation?  What if some of the message we hear in church supports a status quo that enslaves people, grinds them into the dust?

We all know that the lifestyle many of us enjoy is only possible through the suffering of others.  But we choose to close our eyes and pretend we do not know, for if we were to admit we know, we would be faced with a choice.  Either we would have to radically change our behavior and relinquish many of the benefits we enjoy, dig deep into our bag of weasel-words to try to justify ourselves, or admit we do not care.

The choices Jesus puts before us are hard.

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