The small group to which I and Pam belong is presently reading Richard Stearns’ modern classic “The Hole in Our Gospel“. I read this book years ago and it is wonderful how pertinent it still is. Here’s a part of the book that hit me today.
Finally, many Christians believe poverty to be the result of sinfulness and therefore see evangelism as the best, and sometimes only, medicine. They reason that if only the poor were reconciled to God through Jesus Christ and their spiritual darkness lifted, then their lives would begin to change. Poverty indeed can have profound spiritual dimensions, and reconciliation through Christ is a powerful salve in the lives of the rich or poor. But salvation of the soul, as crucial as it may be for fullness of life both in the here and now and in eternity, does not by itself put food on the table, bring water out of the ground, or save a child from malaria. Many of the world’s poorest people are Christians, and their unwavering faith in the midst of suffering has taught me much.
Perhaps the greatest mistake commonly made by those who strive to help the poor is the failure to see the assets and strengths that are always present in people and their communities no matter how poor they are. Seeing their glasses as half-full rather than half-empty can completely change our approach to helping.
SIDE NOTE – If you aren’t reading my wife’s blog you should – she doesn’t blog often but when she does it is consistently wonderful and challenging.