I’m having a very important discussion over at ChrisJeub.com. I think it’s one of the most important of our day. It has to do with government assistance, and I’m a little trepidatious about it. Can you give Wendy and me your feedback? Allow me to explain.
Here’s the thesis of the discussion I opened up last week:
Government assistance drains people of their dignity, robs them of their self-worth, and traps them in dependency.
Here’s where the problem is: there are personal stories of where government assistance appeared to rescue the individual. I’ve received negative feedback from a few people who were personally offended, and their narratives are eerily similar:
- I had a tragedy (lost a job, had an injury, etc.).
- I got on government assistance.
- Therefore, government assistance saved me from loss/doom/hardship/etc.
The conclusion – that government assistance was the savior – is bothersome. Over the years Wendy and I have been financially close to the edge many times, but we have stubbornly refused to get on welfare or any government assistance. Even medical injuries resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars have been solved without government aid.
Ultimately, we believe God will always take care of us, and He always has. In fact, we can point to many blessings that have come from financial hardship. We have been consistant on this message, but feel the need to speak up on it more. Put our testimony out there for the world to judge, much like we do about the blessing of children.
This message walks a fine line, and that gives me pause. I have to be critical of government assistance and the system of dependency it creates. That’s not too hard, really. But here’s the predicament: the criticism offends people who have submitted to the authority of the state. My attempt to free people of the bondage of dependency actually offends the one in chains.
This is my ultimate goal: freedom. Welfare takes away an individual’s freedom. Being off it is liberating. I think people who are caught in the welfare trap know this to be true, but they are encouraged to stay on and persuaded to think they need it. Or that the government came to their rescue when no one else would.
So, I’d really appreciate your feedback. If you have experience or a strong opinion, don’t let this discussion go by. Post below or email me personally. And read today’s ChrisJeub.com post. It is the beginning of a three-part series from one person who replied for help. Your input may help someone get off food stamps…and that’s a good thing.