School of Fish?

“There are 2,000 verses of Scripture that tell us we must be committed to protecting the poor and the oppressed… There is no concern of Scripture that is addressed so often and so powerfully as reaching out to the poor” Tony Campolo

This doesn’t mean that we are called to just simply hand people stuff.
(though that very well may be what many particular situations call for)

I love the phrase:
“Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats forever.”

But do we actually do much teaching?

What I hear more often is something along the lines of “They just need to…” or “Why don’t they just…”

That’s not teaching, that’s judging and blaming.

Jesus said we will always have the poor with us. In my experience, they are not always the same group of people who are always in need, but rather particular people in a particular situation. For some of these, giving a fish may be all that is required. For those that find themselves repeatedly in need, the more involved response of teaching is required those of who will teach. Our calling is to help whoever is in need in whatever way we can. Our turn to be helped has either already happened or will happen. No one is an isolated success.

I don’t think we will ever eliminate all of the many, many circumstances by which people find themselves in need of help. But if we see similar circumstances occurring again and again, it is also part of our calling to address that.

You don’t have to give all your stuff away.
(though it would be very scriptural to do so)
What we at least need to consider is that helping someone IN need is also an opportunity to help someone OUT OF need.

Jesus, give us the courage to live it. Give us the courage.


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What’s this then?

I've had a strange relationship with faith for as long as I can remember. My journey has gone from doing what I was told, to questioning, to doubting, to abandon, to wonder, to play along, to work against, to open up, to change, to embrace, to wonder, to doubt, to work towards, and to keep searching for better answers. Our various understandings of faith are deeply personal. Sharing those understandings can be very helpful to ourselves as well as others.

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