Don’t Ask “What’s wrong?”
Ask “What happened!”
“For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” – Matthew 12:37 (ESV)
I’ve been working with people in poverty for over 15 years. In that time, I’ve learned a lot, but the one thing that I wish I could get everyone to understand, is that poverty is not a personality flaw.
When people see someone with greasy hair and tattered clothes sitting on a pile of newspapers, often their gut reaction is, “What’s wrong with them?”
That question immediately assumes that the person who is trapped in poverty has some flaw or defect. Instead, a better question to ask is, “What happened?”
The Right Question
That simple change of questions cuts through outward appearances and gets to the heart of the matter. There is a reason why someone is trapped in long-term poverty. It could be a health issue, it could be a generational cycle or it could be a tragic event.
When we ask the right question, we get answers that allow us to see people as people, and not problems to be solved. That’s what it’s really about. It’s about loving people just how they are, because that’s what Jesus does for us.
Get the Word Out
As a partner with Everett Gospel Mission, I realize you probably don’t struggle with this the same way many people in our culture do, but I’m sharing it with you today because I want your help to get the word out. If we all looked at poverty differently and approached our brothers and sisters in need with true compassion, I know that even more lives would change here in Snohomish County.