As I was driving yesterday I passed a Mercedes SUV with a vanity plate on the front that read, "Living in Prosperity." The plate was adorned with crosses as well. The obvious message was, "I am blessed because I am a Christian." My immediate reaction was, "while half the world lives in poverty." I tweeted this experience and a friend of mine offered two responses that are worth reposting here.
@thomasjwhitley Just this morning a homeless man was complaining to me about that vehicle-owner's attitude.
@thomasjwhitley "It'll get better," he said they tell him from the pulpit before sending him on his way.
We, as Christians, often tell those less well-off than us that "it'll get better" and that they just need to "trust God." What if we flipped that around and started trusting God ourselves? What if we realized that God intended to feed the hungry with our excess? What if took seriously the part of our faith that commands us to "do unto the least of these"? What if we believed what the book of James said about pure and undefiled religion being that which "looks after orphans and widows"?
This takes a paradigm shift in thinking, no doubt. I heard an interesting take on the well-known and oft-quoted Hebrew Bible blessing, "the Lord bless you and keep you" while at the CBFNC General Assembly this past weekend in the Hyaets breakout session: "The Lord bless you and keep you from hoarding those blessings." May that be our prayer too.