Life is cheap for the rich
By Carrie Sant
Massive cuts in public sector jobs and more are on the way, businesses struggling and some failing, unemployment levels are rising and according to statistics a good 70% of the population is only a few paychecks away from financial insolvency.
There are all sorts of things which are so much cheaper if you have certain expensive resources, for example, a car or a computer. Household goods are often much cheaper if purchased at a particular shop. Where are the really cheap supermarkets? Usually not just down the road! There are all sorts of things which are so much cheaper if purchased in bulk; that is if you have the money to outlay in the first place, the appropriate storage and of course a car to carry them home.
There are all sorts of things which are so much cheaper if purchased on the internet. If you have the internet, you can order online, search ebay, gumtree, amazon, re-cycling sites, local free ads and specialized companies to pick up the things you need at the best prices or even for nothing at all. You can hunt out a new part for your washing machine and find out if you can fit it yourself. If you have a vehicle you can go to collect things at the very best prices.
Imagine having nothing
If you are poor you may not be able to get to a good supermarket, you may not be able to afford the internet, or a computer; if you are elderly you may not know how to use one. You may not have transport, or be able to afford public transport, heating, food or warm clothes. You may not be able to get a cheap contract on your phone or even a bank account. Up until recently you would even have paid even more than the rest of us by pre-paying your gas and electric on a meter! If you don’t have a washing machine, in the winter you may need to use expensive launderettes and just what do you reply to that helpful person who suggests you get a decent hair cut!
When your benefit gets messed up, your fridge freezer goes off, the food you bought gets defrosted and you don’t have insurance, you don’t even have credit to ring anyone for help.
Life is so much cheaper for the rich
As a Chaplain mainly to the poor in Norwich, I see these scenarios all too often. It is easy to judge but these situations can be very real and debt accumulates very fast, a couple of bank charges and the food money has gone, a couple more and then other payments start to bounce, and then of course there’s no credit on the phone to even try to ring the bank and the phone box down the road is wrecked…….. All this means that people are less and less inclined to even try to move forward, they are too busy trying to stay afloat. (I know, I’ve been there.)
I daily come across people who have suddenly found themselves at the precipice of spiraling debt, sometimes the difference between falling and stepping back is just a small leg up from a friend. £5.00 credit on someone’s phone or access to the internet, a lift to the supermarket can make all the difference.
Sometimes people really are genuinely hungry too! I know it is hard to believe in our day and age, and it’s not just the obvious homeless or vagrant (generally they know where to get help) it is the family who have lost an income and are waiting for benefits, don’t want to get a penalty on their mortgage or who are being hassled by landlords for rent when housing benefit has still not come through (and they used their overdraft last month) and they are not used to asking. We need to be on the lookout, if you are in the fortunate place of having excess income, float some on the waters! Store up treasure in heaven where moth and rust cannot destroy! You never know there could be a day when you are the one in need.
Proverbs 19 v 17 “He who gives to the poor lends to the Lord.”
Proverbs 28:27 He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them will be cursed.
(This is scary! but the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom!)
Do you ever think of sharing things which would cost you nothing but which would save others much needed pennies, even tens of pounds. Could you offer some of these things at your friendly church coffee morning.
By the way, answer me honestly, would you walk to church if you had no car? I was talking to someone from Wales about faith the other day and she told me her mother went to church, she was less than enthusiastic stating. “She walks nearly a mile, recently she hasn’t been well. The minister and his wife live round the corner from her, they both take their cars to church, their son takes his car too but they never even offer my mother a lift home. My mum often invites me to go, but I couldn’t, I feel so angry, I know I would say something I shouldn’t.”
There are probably people in your fellowship who do give lifts, do you leave it to them or do you share the load? Some people have time others have resources those with resources need to look out for those that have the time but lack resources and perhaps share a little.
The early disciples did not count anything they had as belonging to them but believed that it all belonged to God and was given to them to share with others. Perhaps we need to come out from under our elegant bushels and start loving and being salt and light in our communities. We have been blessed so that we can be a blessing to others.
Gods’ greatest desire is not a group of “saved” people to boost His ego every week and then go to live in Heaven, but a people here on earth living in relationship with Him and listening to His voice as he leads them to go out and bless the world. That is why He taught us to pray let Your kingdom come let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
What is His will? It is simple.
'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Luke10v27
One flows from the other as we become one with Him.
Salvation is not an insurance policy it is a current account, an abundant new way of life. We are called not just to be blessed but to be a Blessing!