Stop Telling Me About the Lazy and Entitled Poor

Stop Telling Me About the Lazy and Entitled Poor

Years ago I led my small-group discussion on Christ’s troubling parable about Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:19–30). It’s a harrowing story about a poor man named Lazarus
who’s ignored every day by a very wealthy man. When they both die, they experience a biblical Freaky Friday. It’s the rich man who suffers torments while Lazarus is comforted. The message is clear. We can make sacrifices for others today, or have the choice made for us later.
Imagine my disappointment when—instead of wrestling with this extremely troubling story —my small group decided to take the conversation in a different direction. They focused on the urban legend of freeway-off-ramp panhandlers who were secretly pulling in six- figure salaries. Except it wasn’t a story to them—it was an obvious truth. Here were “poor” people cheating good people out of their hard-earned money.
The point of Lazarus and the rich man is pretty clear, but I would have had an easier time getting a cat to discuss its implications. This group wasn’t interested in the parable’s application. They had a narrative about the poor that exonerated them from responsibility. I remember sitting in my car afterward and quietly crying frustrated tears.     Read More

Available Files to Download

To download, right-click the file and select "Save link as".