Sunday, December 04, 2005

Materialism and Social Action

I was at a church service this morning (blog entry to follow), where someone who had made a recent trip to a poor area of India was talking about it.

Much of what they said was great and encouraging, but two things stuck in my mind as clashing.

One was the continual emphasis on how happy all the children, especially the Christian ones were (in contrast to here). The other was commenting on how depressing the poverty was and how good it would be to change it.

This got me thinking.

A lot of the time we talk as if we want to bring other people up to the same standard of living that we enjoy (or, more often, don't enjoy). But isn't that just us being materialistic and wanting other people to be the same. What if it's better being just above the breadline?

Compare Proverbs 30:8

Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.

Wouldn't a better conclusion from looking at situations like that was that having lots of money doesn't make you happier?

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