If you follow Jesus, this is why you should care about other people.

On June 26, 2017, Huffpost published an article by Kayla Chadwick titled I Don't Know How to Explain to You That You Should Care About Other People.  In it, she writes:

"I don’t know how to explain to someone why they should care about other people.

"Personally, I’m happy to pay an extra 4.3 percent for my fast food burger if it means the person making it for me can afford to feed their own family. If you aren’t willing to fork over an extra 17 cents for a Big Mac, you’re a fundamentally different person than I am.

"I’m perfectly content to pay taxes that go toward public schools, even though I’m childless and intend to stay that way, because all children deserve a quality, free education. If this seems unfair or unreasonable to you, we are never going to see eye to eye.

"If I have to pay a little more with each paycheck to ensure my fellow Americans can access health care? SIGN ME UP. Poverty should not be a death sentence in the richest country in the world. If you’re okay with thousands of people dying of treatable diseases just so the wealthiest among us can hoard still more wealth, there is a divide between our worldviews that can never be bridged.

"I don’t know how to convince someone how to experience the basic human emotion of empathy. I cannot have one more conversation with someone who is content to see millions of people suffer needlessly in exchange for a tax cut that statistically they’ll never see (do you make anywhere close to the median American salary? Less? Congrats, this tax break is not for you)."

If you claim to be a Christian, I do know how to explain it to you:

John 15:12--My command is this: Love one another as I have loved you.

Proverbs 29:7--The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.

Jeremiah 22:3--I, the Lord, command you to do what is just and right. Protect the person who is being cheated from the one who is cheating him. Do not ill-treat or oppress foreigners, orphans, or widows.

Micah 6:8--He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

1 John 3: 17--If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?

1 Corinthians 10:24--None of you should be looking out for your own interests, but for the interests of others.

Provers 22:22-23--Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the Lord will take up their case and will exact life for life.

In short: Love others as God has loved you.  If you love God, you will take care of the poor and the oppressed.  The Lord requires His followers to take care of the poor and the oppressed, to bring justice to the world and be merciful to others.  Look out for the interests of others instead of your own interests.  And if we don't do these things?  The Lord will protect the needy and punish us.

As Christians, we should be helping people.  We should fight for a living wage for all people because the Lord requires us to take care of the poor, and people who aren't making a living wage are poor.  You can gripe all you want about not wanting to pay a few cents more for your fast food and how people should get real jobs if they want to be paid a living wage, but this argument is rooted in greed, not the betterment of others.

You can gripe all you want about not wanting to pay for another person's health insurance, but that's not loving God because you aren't loving your neighbor.  This isn't an argument about how the free market will help make health insurance more affordable: what you're really saying is that you aren't going to take pity on someone who has less than you.

And that's not right, and that's not just.

So if you claim to follow Jesus, but you've made arguments against raising the minimum wage, health insurance for everyone, paying taxes, or anything else you might call liberal economics, know this: Jesus commands us to take care of those who are poor and oppressed.  If you aren't doing the right thing, the just thing, maybe you're not following Jesus.

 

 

 

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