Biblical Basis: Lifting Up Poor People

Read James 2:1-7

The biblical vision of community and nation lifts up those who are vulnerable and marginalized. When there is a spectrum of income levels in a community, all should be treated with dignity and respect.

James warns against giving special treatment based on wealth and appearance. Those who are poor and marginalized should also be honored and respected because God has chosen them to be “rich in faith and heirs to the kingdom which God has promised to those who love him” (James 2:5).

This admonition is directed to the Christian community, but its truth also applies to the broader relationships of communities and nations. God calls us to lift up the plight of those who do not have powerful lobbyists and financial resources on their side.

Programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit allow people to live dignified lives because they can be more self-sufficient. Tax credits help families cover emergencies instead of relying on assistance, or they can be used to invest in education or continuing education that can lead to a more sustainable income.

The call to seek justice for hungry and poor people requires us to move beyond simple acts of sharing with those in need to the more encompassing action of advocacy. Through our advocacy for better government policies, we can help more families receive sufficient resources so they can keep from going hungry.

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