I’m still shocked by some stories of how people take advantage of others who are downtrodden, but then I’m not shocked. Is it possible to be both shocked and not shocked at the same time?
The Well Resource Center met with a client several times over a two-week period to help her find housing and to process a path forward in a difficult situation. She came to Pella from out of state with her two children in order to move in with some people she knew and trusted. Having agreed to pay rent and help with other bills, she proceeded to give her “friends” the money in cash as promised, of which they immediately kicked her and her children out. It appears she has a history of being taken advantage of financially in a similar fashion from others, as she has monthly income from disability, making her a target. The Well Resource Center assisted her with temporary lodging and then connected her to a partner organization that could help her and her two children with transitional housing until she decides where she wants to live and pursue permanent housing.
Jesus was not shockable, but he did get angry. Not angry with the lost, the poor, the downtrodden, but angry with those who take advantage of them. The “righteous”, or those who claim to be, can view others as opportunities to be used. They dehumanize them, justifying their actions to get what they want. But Jesus also wants the “righteous” to see the error of their ways, to treat others with dignity and respect, to turn to Him and find the hope and love that only Jesus can offer. Jesus loves everyone. He “humanizes” everyone, seeing the oppressors as the lost and broken people that also are in need of hope. Is it possible to be angry and to love a person at the same time?
- How did The Well Resource Center walk alongside this person who was new to town?
- Do you find the actions of the “landlord” shocking?
- Are there small ways in which you may take advantage of someone (favors because you know they’ll say yes) or a business (was given too much change) or the government (cheating on taxes) but then justify it?
- How can small ways of “cheating” lead to bigger and more harmful ways of taking advantage of others? No one starts out saying tomorrow I’m going to rob a person.
Leviticus 25:17 “You are not to cheat one another, but fear your God, for I am the Lord your God.” CSB