When Good Choices Are Not Enough

But for luck

J J via Compfight

Our friend Rachel Held Evans posted on the CNN Belief Blog in response to a blog on Dave Ramsey’s website entitled The 20 Things Rich People Do Every Day. Rachel points out, rightly, that Dave Ramsey has helped many people get rid of debt and make wise financial changes in their lives. But some of the theological assumptions about the poor that he has made are not only hurtful and untrue, they’re unbiblical. While we deeply appreciate the wisdom of much of Dave Ramsey’s approach and advice, we agree with Rachel that he missed the mark here.

Systemic injustices create barriers for the poor and people of color that do not exist for the middle class majority. This is not always obvious to those who enjoy a privileged status. Let’s be good listeners and learn from our brothers and sisters for whom “personal habits, choices and character” are not always enough to overcome poverty.

From Rachel’s post:

People are poor for a lot of reasons, and choice is certainly a factor, but categorically blaming poverty on lack of faith or lack of initiative is not only uninformed, it’s unbiblical.

God does not divide the world into the deserving rich and the undeserving poor. In fact, the brother of Jesus wrote that God has “chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him” (James 2:5).

God does not bless people with money; God blesses people with the good and perfect gift of God’s presence, which is available to rich and poor alike.

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