The Dignity of Poverty

In trying to eliminate poverty, we have dehumanized those with less or without, taking away their dignity. It we would instead seek solidarity with those with less or without, we would recognize that they are more human than us-- that their dignity is far greater and shines brighter than our own.


  1. Great post, man. I really struggled with urban ministry classes at school because they were based on a type of condescension. It's hard to balance words like "help" with phrases like "because we're the same." Social justice speak and blogging have worried me too because it often seems to forget we're all on an equal playing field under God because of our depravity before Him without Him. I don't want it to become an adventure to the exotic.

    A scene in Legends of the Fall always seems to come to mind when I hear people talking about social justice and "emergent" ministry. It's the one where brad pitt's character is living in Africa and writes home about all the new incredible beasts to see and dominate.

    I worry about that with my hip-hop too. 70% of the hip-hop audience is affluent, so 70% of the audience is finding a fascination with anthems of the lesser. It's more than that, obviously, but it worries me sometimes. I love the beats, the rhythms, the life, the incredible articulateness. The dignity. But I have to ask myself if I appreciate it for what it is, or in some voyeuristic way.

  2. I've known folks who worshiped money... who thought that it proved that God cared about them. I've known folks who worshiped poverty. At times I've had my doubts as to whether this was because God was calling them to be poor, or because they felt guilty for having wealth, or because they thought they could buy God's love with their sacrifice. Examine your heart. Allow God to address mistakes in the way you view your own resources. Or maybe by God changing the way you view other's poverty He'll change the way you view your own resources.

  3. JUSTIN!!!!!
    how are you and sarah??? this is Julie Hart from Roanoke, IN (i hope u remember me)anyways me and my family and were thinking about u guys today and i got bored and googled u and found this.lol I emailed jon (who is in Iraq) and told him ur blog site. He'll be SOOO excited! hope to hear from you soon!!! We miss you guys!