I read a book a few weeks ago which changed my life. The book, Quaker Summer, by Lisa Samson is the fictional story of woman whose own life is transformed by the question of what does Christ want of her. She has spent her life making a lovely home for her family. She has been a good, thoughtful neighbor. She has offered her talents to those whom she feels need them. But what she has is a life of things, shallow friendships, and busyness. What she is not doing is making a difference in the name of Christ.
My synopsis pales horribly in comparison to Samson's writing, but suffice it say, the book changed me. Or maybe what it did was to help me acknowledge what I think the Lord is trying to do in my own life. I have begun to really pray and think about what Matthew 25:41-46 means in my day to day life.
I think we are to provide for those who have need.
So all said, I don't begrudge my friend her allotment from the government, BUT I do believe the system has enabled her to become a taker.
Last week I heard an interview Chris Cuomo had with Mr. Obama's chief economic advisor. Granted, it wasn't highbrow money talk, but the issue of tax cuts came up. Mr. Obama's advisor explained how a large segment of tax payers would pay lower taxes under Mr. Obama's plan. Cuomo kept asking how those tax cuts would be subsidized, but there was no direct answer. Finally, it was explained that anyone with an income of a certain level would see a tax increase. Cuomo asked why it wasn't labeled as a tax increase, and Mr. Obama's advisor said the new tax rates would simply be a reinstatement of old tax rates. Voila! No new taxes!
Now, in the past when I've heard that a certain income group will shoulder more responsibility, that group has always been some point we will never reach. What alarmed me this time was that if I go back to full-time work, WE will be in that category of tax increase.
Granted, I've not heard yet how Mr. McCain pledges to fix our money situation. Perhaps his proposal is equally as bad. I really need Chris Cuomo to explain it to me!
What really gets me is the Obama campaign's explanation that I am a "have" and have an even greater obligation to the "have nots." I thought of my friend, who does not work and is completely provided for. Checkered and I worked hard for our education. We work hard at our jobs. We give back to the community through our church and other groups. We don't have a lot in the bank and we don't have a lavish lifestyle. Is there room to simplify like Samson writes about? Yes. Is there more room for me to "do to the least of these"? Surely. But is the best way for me to do this a tax increase?
And now, Mr. Obama, that you've specified my new role in providing for society, does my friend have a new role for giving back to society or is it going to continue to be okay that some of us are givers and some will remain takers?