What’s the first think you think of when you think about welfare? Be honest. What’s the first word that comes to mind? Is it “lazy”? If it is, not to be harsh, but you’re wrong.
Stereotypes are harmful. They hurt people. It blows my mind that people still categorize others in such a harmful way. If someone is receiving welfare, that doesn’t make them lazy. A lazy person might be receiving welfare but welfare does not equal laziness.
Did you get that?
It hurts me deeply when I see my fellow Christians post ridiculous, horrible things about people on welfare. How does someone who follows Christ’s example [you know, hanging with the poor people and what not] be against helping those in need? The definition of “welfare” is this… “the health, happiness, and fortunes of a person or group”. So social welfare- the thing that everyone complains about- is the program that helps people achieve that. Jesus commands us to provide for those in need. So why are we against the social programs that do exactly that? Because a couple of people you know are too lazy to work and decide to manipulate the system and live off the government? Or a few people on welfare spend their food stamps on potato chips and/or a lobster tail [why is that even your business]?
The reality is, the majority of people on welfare are people like this: a single mother with a minimum wage job, trying to take an online class every now and then to get a degree, and can’t afford to feed her son. Or a social worker whose husband just lost his job and her salary can’t pay the bills. Or a family of four who is stuck in generational poverty and can’t get out. People who NEED help. They’d be starving, homeless, or dead without government aid. Everyone wants to be able to provide for themselves and their families, but it isn’t always an attainable option without help.
I know, I KNOW, trust me I know that the system is really screwed up. There are so many things wrong with the way the government helps people. But I’d rather have a screwed up system than no system at all. I’d rather some people get helped than none at all. It really doesn’t bother me that there are a few people who use the system. There will always be those people no matter what. That doesn’t make the system completely faulty.
Jesus was a living welfare system. He healed, he gave, he helped, he saved. The least we can do is support and advocate for a government system that genuinely helps people in need. I’m so tired of seeing Christians advocating against exactly what Jesus stood for. It’s sickening to see Christians making fun of people who have a lot less than they do. As Christians, we should be building them up, encouraging them towards success, and helping them meet their goals. I think we need to show more compassion and selflessness and do a heck of a lot less generalizing and dehumanizing to be like Jesus.