I am currently dealing with a number of good people who are angry. Much of that anger is being expressed at me, but I understand why they are angry and what is motivating their anger. The source of their anger and the pain that is causing it is far deeper than me or my words and actions.
Dealing with ugly realities is never easy, and it is especially difficult in a society where we have always desired not dealing with anything ugly, messy or painful. An example is this quote by Voltaire. It is an ugly truth that will immediately make many reading it upset and angry. That, however,m doesn’t change the truthfulness of the quote.
It’s o.k. to get angry at ugly truth and painful facts. But, if we analyze the reason for our anger we have the opportunity to grow from it.
We can then work to either accept or change the ugly truth which makes us angry. Or, as in the case with some of those who are now directing their anger toward me, we can ignore the truth until it becomes an infection of anger and bitterness causing us to lash out in pain.
The only problem with the latter approach is that the source of the infection, that ugly truth still needs to be dealt with, doesn’t it?
And the 50% in congress who are not “officially” millionaires are within spitting distance. Those in power have little in common with the majority of the citizens in the United States. This is one reason the gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow at such an alarming rate. Democracy cannot long survive with such a huge discrepancy of incomes between the haves and the have-nots.
The Gospel reading for today is Luke 16:1-13. It’s a passage in which Jesus focused on money and how it is handled and used. This passage is especially interesting in light of Ha-Joon Chang’s comments.
Verse 13 is one that is familiar to most of us. It’s a verse oft quoted and even more often ignored by Christian and non-Christians alike.
No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
Wealth is a spiritual issue. That makes it a lifestyle issue.
Our focus is where our heart is. Faithfulness to Christ demands one focus. Wealth requires a different focus. To which are you devoted?
Inequality continues to grow in the United States as the wealth being amassed the top one percent gets ever larger and more of the lower middle class is being pushed into poverty. This is not just and it is not sustainable in the long run.
At the same time this is happening we now have those that stridently blame the poor and hungry, demonizing them for being poor. This is not only wrong and totally mean-spirited, it shows a disregard for the truth and a lack of compassion that borders on being immoral.