This came to me today from Inward/Outward email, a project of The Church of the Saviour.
The different aspects of poverty form together into a cycle of destruction and dependence that winds itself down upon and around a person. That's the cycle of poverty.... Not enough food when young so that he can't think straight. No hope of education or personal development or family so she gets pregnant before she's fifteen. No education, poor jobs. Poor jobs, poor pay. Poor pay, bad housing and food. Bad housing and food, poor health. Poor health, poor performance on the job, less pay. A cycle, but at its center a captive, a mind so busy responding to the day-to-day needs that it has no time to think about the future or about those spiritual realities which give meaning to life.
Source: A Quiet Revolution, John Perkins
That feels discourging and hopeless. Does one just give into the cyle? How does one get out of the cycle? Is it government's responsibility to break the cycle? Is it the church's? Is it ours?
We have been forever at trying different means to break the cycle and seem to be able to do it for some people and not for others. Do we too give up? And do we just instead turn a blind eye or do we just do handouts?
For a long time those Christians who worked at doing something about it were mocked for just practicing a "Social Gospel". And so it appeared that there was a turn away from practicing social justice and to more of getting everybody "Saved". Now there seems to be a turn back the other way, but trying to hold both in the balance. Can we hold both in the balance and break the cycle of poverty? What do the scriptures tell us? What does the Holy Spirit tell us? What does God tell us?