Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
What many modern Christians practice:
Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him
labour, working with his hands the thing which is goodlobby the government for “needy causes”, that he may have to give to him that needethfeel compassionate — without actually giving or getting involved with individuals enough to know what help they really need.
Even if the “needy causes” are legitimate (and unfortunately they sometimes aren’t), when modern Christians outsource compassion and generosity to government, we:
- Often diminish our own generosity
- Make government the arbiter (often a poor one) of who gets help
- Give government the right to pry into people’s lives to make that decision
- Teach a generation to view government (not God) as the provider
- Turn generosity into someone else’s responsibility (since most money the government takes for this purpose will be from other people, and not from me)
- Turn generosity into simply “giving money” when that is often not the best way to help
All this damages our own view (and that of other believers) of what generosity and compassion is supposed to be — and then government goes and makes a mess of it, because they can’t possibly do this well. How could they? The decision-makers are rarely spiritually minded, are often motivated by their own desire for power, and don’t even know the people they are supposed to be helping….