As a little bit of a political junkie, I have heard so many comments on the socialistic condition that America is heading for. I have heard the blame put on the liberals, the poor, the minorities, immigration, single women and many other things. The fact is that many Americans rely heavily on the government and the government takes care of many families.
The range of emotions that accompany this idea of a government meeting our needs is quite diverse. It runs the gamut of “thank God the government is there to take care of me when I couldn’t” to “how dare anyone accept anything from the government when we have a God who will meet my needs”. If we were to meet these two thoughts over lunch, I am sure there would be a food fight before it was over.
As a disabled person and by the standard of the government, poverty level income female, I can appreciate both sides. For one, I am a paraplegic. With that kind of medical situation, bills run very high. You would never understand unless you live in this world, but the battle between insurance companies and medical supply dealers is fierce and the consumer is the one that receives all the battle wounds. My wheelchair cost my insurance $6000. My wheelchair cushion cost my insurance $500. Have we mentioned the multiple MRI’s, blood work, bone density scans, urologist appointments, neurologist appointments, family doctor appointments (yes, we are susceptible to other illnesses and many times more frequently), antibiotics for multiple UTI’s, medication to help with nerve pain and spasms, special bedding to reduce pressure sores from not moving much at night, accessibility costs to remodel our homes so that we can live in them, and on and on? My disability check pays for my amazing van which is expensive but had to be one that I can get in by myself, haul 8 people and be accessible so that I can drive it with my hands. The earned income credit I get at the beginning of each new year as a freebie from the government helps to pay off credit card bills that have mounted during the year to get us through. The point is that there is absolutely no way I could afford this on our income.My disability was a tsunami in our personal finances and I am so thankful for my amazing family doctor who told me I would not leave his office until I promised to go and get help for our family. It has been an absolute blessing in my life and I thank God for it! So, I am very thankful for a government who has helped our family keep food on our table, good medical equipment under and around me so that I can have a longer life, and money that comes in to help replace some of the loss that my disability has brought.
On the other hand, I think the system has been highly abused. I think we need reforms in this area to help weed out those that I personally know are milking the system. How do you know you say? Because I am a pastor’s wife and they call us and come to our door all of the time. I will never forget the night a young woman and her 3 little children came in to our church. She told me that they had no money and no food. They had only eaten peanut butter for 2 days. I told them I would buy her some groceries and deliver them to her house the next morning. Can you imagine her (and my) surprise when I decided to go on to the store that night and get her food (because I was worrying about her kids) and there she was with an entire cart full of pop? Not a case or two – an entire cart load brimmed to the top with pop! This has happened to me so many times but I won’t bore you with the stories. If it happens here, I am sure it happens all over. I think there are many people who can’t wait to get free money because they are too lazy to get their backsides off the couch and away from their computers or game stations.
But why this post? I have a burning passion in my heart to get real on some things. This is one of them. I see the many posts on Facebook where the individual is ranting over the welfare mentality of our nation. Would you let me press this upon you? I think the problem is not in our welfare nation but in our welfare Christianity. My husband lays this out so clearly in the problem in his post today and I would encourage you to read it. I will not repeat what he said here, but instead I will ask a few pointed questions that you will hopefully have to reflect upon.
1. Do you enjoy the benefits of God that is bestowed so freely in your life?
God’s Word says that every good thing is from above. That means that any good you receive is from Him. You have received much!! Way more than you have received bad. And….that goodness started the day you were born so it has been freely given. God delights in blessing us.
2. As you receive these benefits, what do you do about it?
Do you thank Him? Do you acknowledge Him? Do you enjoy them? Do you share them?
3. Do you work at all to receive these benefits?
We do not work for our salvation (which, by the way, was also freely given) but we do serve our King. Do you receive and receive and receive….and then receive some more? What do you actually do other than complain about what others are not doing?
4. Do you return anything to the community in which you receive these benefits?
What are you personally doing to expand the Kingdom of God in your life? Posting a verse on Facebook? What are you doing in REAL life? The poor that “mooch” off the government – what you are doing to love them and show them Jesus? The minorities who are moving into our country – are you capable of looking beyond the color of their skin to love them? The disabled – can you get to know them and love them to the point that they become more than wheelchairs and leg bags to you? Are you involved in a local church? What are you doing in that church? Do you sit and soak up all the music and the great sermons and never give back? When was the last time you volunteered to do something that no one else wanted to do? When was the last time that you went and made visits in your neighborhood and let people know you would like to invite them to come with you to church? When was the last time you went to your church leaders and asked what you could do to further Christ in your community?
This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where the complaining stops and action starts. This is where we make a decision to be an active citizen in the Kingdom of God that will help this Kingdom thrive and move forward, or we will stay on the receiving end where we take and take and never do one solitary thing to make a difference.
5. Are you a welfare Christian?
Only you know in your heart if you are or not.
I had a lady tell me once that she didn’t complain about the government because she never voted. She said that unless she voted, she guessed that she didn’t have the right to complain. I guess she is exactly right. I see no difference here. If you are a Christian and you gladly receive the benefits of God in your life but barely lift a physical finger to do anything to shine your light in a real and tangible way, then you might as well keep your thoughts to yourself. Otherwise you are a hypocrite and are just like those you love to criticize. I said it here and I will keep saying it. Christians – get busy! WE are the problem. If you want to see change in this country for God, then get out there and be the ambassador that God called you to be! If not, welcome to welfare.