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« The Poor, Part 2 | Main | How Much Closing a Credit Card Impacts Your Credit Score »

December 04, 2011


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A long post, but well worth reading. Thank you FMF for bringing these truths to us.

"...minimize the spiritual redemption found in biblical generosity to mere social reform. This critical mistake focuses only on physical need and neglects spiritual, mental, emotional, and eternal purposes."

I take umbrage with this statement it sounds oddly like a political attack immersed inside a biblical personal finance blog.


I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about whether Christians should do more than just give to the needy. I know some people will always be unable to take care of themselves/their needs and we shoud donate to them, but what about those that could help themselves given the right opportunity? Should we be using some of our resources to hire others to do jobs we could do ourselves becuase it would be a Chriatian thing to do. A friend of mine knows someone in her church that had their hours cut at work. This person is willing to clean houses to try to make up for her lost income. I don't pay someone to clean our house but we could afford to do so if we wanted. Is the Christian thing to do to hire this person that wants to work and has been vouched for by my friend? It almost seems like that would be a Christian thing to do.

Mary Kay --

I think we're all called to help the poor, though our help may come in different ways. If you're feeling led to give those who need help a leg up, then that sounds like a great way to bless the poor.

This is Rob (author of post).

Keith, thanks for your kind words.

Luis, I think your umbrage has to do with the fact that this post is one excerpt from one chapter of a 200 page book. In the overall context, I don't think you find anything political about my book. In fact, I think we actually agree...let me explain. The point I am trying to make is that biblical generosity is about a whole lot of things (God's glory, spiritual transformation, physical restoration, etc.) and I am concerned some people use bits and pieces of scripture to fit a social or political agenda rather than looking at the whole of what the Bible teaches. So, I think we actually may agree, and I appreciate your comments...they always help me learn how to get my points across with better clarity.

Mary Kay, I think FMF did a great job answering your question.

Before I read the second part of your post, the one thought running through my mind was that the "poor" is a much broader category then just those with less than ideal financial circumstances. Those who are poor in this day in age can be of various categories; those who lack family support, those who lack self-appreciation (drug abusers, alcoholics), even those who lack social skills (mentally challenged individuals, children with autism or other diseases). Our humanity is most cetainly calculated by how we treat people in these situations. Not only is it our responsibility to take care of those in horrible financial crisis, but also those who struggle with internal crisis's. We are no more humane by giving a homeless person some extra change, then we would be by taking the time to talk with a child who has been given up for a adoption because they were born with downs syndrome. We are only as good as the compassion we show for less fortunate individuals, whoever they may be.

I try to help anyone in need, whether they're poor or just going through a hard time. I think Christianity has a lot of roots in giving, rather than receiving. FMF, you seem like you do a lot of giving, so kudos to you!

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