21 March, 2011

Good news for the Affluent ?

Margot Starbuck over at Red Letter Christians put out this list that really hit home for me.

Ten ways the gospel that is—obviously—good news for the poor is actually also good news for those of us who are affluent….
  1. When the rich eat less extraneous food and get healthier, faithfully stewarding our excess resources—to Blood:Water Mission—the poor eat enough and get healthier. 
  2. When the rich skip an episode of Desperate Housewives, besides gaining an extra hour of life, the typically-induced envy and greed that ensue—the kinds that impact the lives of the poor who make our stuff—is squelched. 
  3. When those of us who are affluent limit our requisite shopping errands to one day a week, we’re liberated from the exhausting obsessive consumption that drives us and we consume less of the resources which impact the lives of the poor.
  4. When the rich take a refreshing Sabbath from facebook, we get an opportunity to connect with the ones God loves on the margins who aren’t on facebook.
  5. When the rich make the time-consuming effort to get off of the catalogue mailing lists that jam our mailboxes, and overwhelm us before we even step in the door after work, fewer forests are stripped in developing countries.
  6. When the rich knock out all of our birthday-gift shopping at one convenient Ten Thousand Villages fair-trade location, the poor earn a living wage.
  7. Similarly, when the rich do our Christmas gift shopping by donating goats and chickens through World Vision, the poor gain a viable livelihood.  (Totally convenient, too, right?)
  8. When the rich exercise the ridiculously convenient practice of either fasting or sharing a simple weekly meal of rice and beans to remember the poor—using our weekly savings to sponsor a child through Compassion International—children are released from poverty in Jesus’ name.
  9. When the rich decide to forgo traveling sports leagues for six-year-olds, the poor (and rich) are less likely to suffer from our pollution and the ones who live near us are more likely to find us playing in our yards.
  10. When the affluent decide to kick our pricey oral addictions to tasty food and drink we don’t really need, resources are freed up to keep some protein-rich peanut butter in the car to share with those we meet who are in need.
What else could we add to this list? More and more, the decisions of the rich are being known for their impact on the poor. We really are all connected.

There could be one about when the affluent choose to keep the electronics longer, instead of always pursuing the new and best, the poor aren't enslaved in mines collecting minerals for that technology.

When the affluent start helping with a local organization helping their poor neighbor, it opens their eyes to the suffering of others around the world and how everyone in their neighbor.

When the affluent confront the lies and speak out against unnecessary sex and the objectification of women (the hyper-sexualization of young girls) in movies and on TV it drives down the demand for sexual services, thereby freeing more of the poor from a life of sexual trafficking.

What the affluent does matters. We are all connected...