3 Christian, but “Not very Christian at all” responses to the Homeless
Most Christians have a strong understanding of WWJD (What Would Jesus Do). Even folks that don’t identify as Christian, are familiar with the Birth, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of Christ, if for no other reason than the ever popular Christmas and Easter Celebrations. Still, many Christians have been conditioned into taking a more “imperfect human” view of homelessness. And we have to be honest…it’s hypocritical to do so. Here are 3 of the most popular “not Christian” responses to the Homeless.
- “They should have…”, or “They shouldn’t have…
Whenever someone that finds themselves battling with homelessness tells their story, there are two possible approaches. One, is for the “listening Christian” to come to terms with the belief that only by the Grace and Mercy of God, do we have food on our tables and shelter over our heads. That’s the right way to look at it. The other approach, is for the “deflecting Christian” to say “well they shouldn’t have dropped out of high school and they wouldn’t be homeless.” Or, “She shouldn’t have gotten pregnant…” and “He should have followed the law and stayed off of drugs…”
The realistic application of the Grace of God, is to understand that we are no better, or no worst than any other person, and only by his Grace, are we blessed. Taking the viewpoint that someone else “deserves” to suffer for their mistakes, is to suggest that we are perfect, and therefore are entitled to a better life than those who have sinned. We must remember Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
- Someone else will help them…the Government will provide for them.
Far too often, we Christians assume that the portion of our tax dollars that goes towards social programs to assist the homeless is sufficient to fulfill our Christian responsibility to assist the less fortunate. Simply paying taxes into a Federal System that provides food stamps and homeless shelters, is not enough. For one, there is no guarantee that those programs will be sufficient, or remain funded. If there’s one thing we know about government, it’s that it involves increasing, and decreasing funding for various programs on a regular basis. More importantly, many folks that are experiencing hard times need Spiritual support, just as much as they need Financial support. Making the assumption that “someone else” will help, means that the Christian observer never intends to initiate contact with the person in need, and no opportunity to witness to the Love of Jesus Christ will present itself.
The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. Matthew 25:40
- I don’t have time…
As Christians, we must constantly remind ourselves that the only time we have, is the time God gives us. And, he gives us that time, so that we can be a blessing to others. If we aren’t going to use the time in the way that it is meant to be used, then we may find a void in our lives that we attempt to fill in the wrong ways. As I have always said, “we make time for what we desire, and we make excuses for everything else.” And the reality is, that it doesn’t take much time at all to lend a helping hand. Something as minor as an encouraging word, a quick phone call, or a small volunteer event can make a World of difference. I also believe it’s good to evaluate the way we spend our time every once in a while. You’ll be surprised how eye-opening it can be.
“Wow, I watched 6 hours of Netflix this week!” But, I didn’t have time to fulfill my Christian duty to the less fortunate. Right!!!
I am concerned that Christians these days are not realizing the value of self-sacrifice. In a World that appears to be deteriorating morally, it’s time for us to step it up, and reassess our view of the homeless.
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