Not too long ago I went to one of our best nonprofits and asked them who were the poor in our community.  

The director told me they didn’t know but, that was a very good question. I was a little surprised by the response because they are supposed to be working with the poor every day, right?

I was talking to some poor people the other day and they were telling me how it’s cheaper for them to feed their family by going to the drive through at a fast food restaurant and eat off the dollar menu versus buying and cooking regular groceries.  

I believe that might be true, but wow, is there something wrong with that?

Jesus talked a lot about helping the least but it’s hard to know who the least are – the least always have cable, always have a 20 ounce Dr. Pepper in their hand that they bought at the convenience store and their kids always have more money on school trips than my kid does.  

What I think we would find out too is that while I budgeted my money so I could pay for my kid to go on the trip, they received a “scholarship.”

If it sounds like I am against the poor then you don’t read this column very often.  

If you did you would know that I am such a bleeding heart that I make Joe Biden look like Rand Paul.  

I love God and I love people, therefore I am compelled to help. But who really needs the help – I have trouble finding the tangibly poor.

Our church gave away groceries in the park the other day and some people I know came and got groceries – I had a little trouble sleeping that night because these same “poor” people have money for wine and cigarettes.  

Why is it poor people always have money for these things but can’t pay for the school trip or groceries?  

Maybe this is what we call “selective spending.

Maybe we need to redefine poor?  But if we did I am not sure how many would qualify.

I have a friend who lives on $500 a month.  

No kidding.  

My friend is poor, right? I mean he is really poor.  

He is also very content, loves Jesus more than most and does not let being poor keep him from being one of the most influential people I have ever met.  

He’s got nothing and yet he has everything.  

We should all be that kind of poor.

I have no problem giving to people like my friend but the lady with tattoos at the concession stand with a kid holding a twenty dollar bill and spending all of it – I struggle with that.

 

 

Ken Ansell is the pastor of Community Life Church in Waxahachie.