Stop Waiting for the Government

We don't need the government to fulfill our obligation to love one another.

The working class of America have spoken. They're tired of being forgotten and ignored. They're tired of working hard while their tax dollars go to people who don't work at all. So they elected Donald Trump as our next president.

The irony is that both the working class and the poor rely on the government. Poor folks need welfare because they either can't work or can't find work. Likewise, the working class apparently need international trade agreements to change in order to find work.

I won't pretend to understand what it's like to work in an industry where you, your father, and your grandfather have worked. But I do understand how scary it can be to switch industries and start a completely different job.

Last year, I quit radio and moved into marketing, partly because I could see the death of that industry rapidly approaching. So I took the plunge and bailed on a career I had been building for seven years. As it turns out, a lot of my radio experience is quite useful in marketing, and I'm finding success in this new industry.

But don't mistake my good fortune as cockiness. At the time, I had no idea if I would sink or swim, and I had no backup plan if things didn't work out. It was a risk. But it was a risk I knew I needed to take sooner than later before I had pigeon-holed my resume. I'm living proof that you don't have to stick with the only career you know.

Instead of taking risks, the working class have decided to blame the government on their lack of gainful employment. Like the poor folks they look down on, the blue-collars are waiting for the jobs they want to come to them. While they're claiming that the poor are lazy and don't want to work, they're refusing to find new jobs outside of their comfort zones. They're waiting for the government.

Liberals and conservatives are also waiting. Liberals want to use the government to raise the standard of living with things like free education, universal health care, and a living minimum wage. Conservatives want to use the government to improve the economy and job market so that anyone can find gainful employment and raise their own standard of living.

Literally everybody is pointing the finger of irresponsibility at each other while simultaneously expecting the government to step in and fix the mess. But if we're waiting for the government, we're trusting in the government. We have ceased to be citizens of God's kingdom, preferring an earthly king to our heavenly father.

The Bible says that the church should take care of its own. Though tithes are no longer in effect for the people of God, our giving is meant to provide equality--basically first century socialism. So if there are poor people within our church community, we don't wait for the government to send them a welfare check or help them find a job. We provide for them ourselves.

If it sounds unfair to provide for people who don't work or even don't want to work, welcome to the kingdom of God. Jesus told a parable about a landowner who hired men at the beginning and end of the day to work in his vineyard. When it came time to pay, he payed them equally causing the first workers to grumble. They were envious that the landowner was generous to the last workers. But in the kingdom, the first shall be last and the last shall be first.

God isn't interested in those who labor the most but in those who love the most. You may be all wrought up over the welfare defrauders or the pouting blue collars, but no one asked you to be their judge and repay their inaction. God will dispense justice; you must dispense grace.

Don't complain that the poor aren't taking responsibility for their lives if you're refusing to take responsibility for them as you've been so commanded. Don't whine that minimum wage isn't keeping up with inflation if you're not keeping up with your poor friend's rent. No one has to "do their part" for you to do yours.

Love people. Unconditionally, unexpectantly, unabashedly.

If you're a conservative, this is not a time to relax if, indeed, economic prosperity awaits the working class. Be more vigilant still in your support of the helpless. If you're a liberal, this is not a time to drown your sorrows if, as many of us fear, peril awaits minorities. Be prepared to hold the hurting and defend the despairing.

If you're a Christian, a Trump presidency is an opportunity to do more than talk. Be ready.

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photo credit: Onasill ~ Bill Badzo Boise Idaho ~ Idaho State Capitol ~ Dome Skylight ~Historic via photopin (license)