Thursday, September 9, 2010

HOPE FOR TODAY: Rich vs. Poor

Tax cuts enacted by the previous presidential administration are set to expire the end of this year. There is much discussion over whether to maintain, change or eliminate these cuts. As I looked at various articles on the subject a familiar theme surfaced that went something like this, “Let us have the cuts expire on the rich, but remain for the poor”. This theme also showed up during the healthcare debate and a series of bailouts.

In times like these, the rich and poor become political footballs that seem to be used to help others achieve their chosen agendas. When it comes to cutting government costs, people stereotype the poor as victims to help save their programs. When it comes to increasing government revenue, people stereotype the rich as villains to get their money, in order to help save or expand their programs.

Fanning the flames of division between the rich and poor is dangerous. There is no common sense reason to pursue this. Fostering division over income levels or positions in society opens the door for class warfare, pitting American against American.

Our country can rise above this growing division by running quickly in the opposite direction. The root of division is when people are out for their own self-preservation. The foundation for unity is when people serve others, putting the needs of their neighbors above their own. One of the two Greatest Commandments from the Bible communicates this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).

As a nation, what if we sought to give rather then get and purposed to help rather than to have? I believe it would dramatically change our culture, put the political straw men arguments to bed and shatter inaccurate stereotypes.

The God who made you and me is an example of selfless giving. When God gave Jesus, His Son, to our world He demonstrated selfless giving so that we may receive His rich blessings. When we turn from our sin and place our faith in Jesus, God opens His doors of blessing.

There is no favoritism or partiality with God. Rich or poor, black or white, man or woman, known or unknown, all are alike to Him. God welcomes all. Everyone stands on level ground before Him. May you find hope today in whatever circumstances you face, by turning to Jesus and giving yourself away to others, no matter your position in life.

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