Several weeks ago, a Mormon friend and I were discussing politics, and the conversation turned to the unemployed. He said something to the effect of persons unemployed in today’s climate are such because of their own doing; anyone can get a job in Canada today.
I was reminded of this discussion yesterday during family scripture study, when we read Mosiah 4:17.
Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just
Even though King Benjamin is talking about the poverty-stricken, I think his words apply in the situation described above.
For charity to be truly the pure love of Christ, it needs to be unconditional. Placing a condition on our giving to the poor ?¢‚Ç¨‚Äù he brought it on himself, for example ?¢‚Ç¨‚Äù means we aren’t truly giving.
Is teaching self sufficiency to the poor a preferred alternative to simply giving handouts? Sure, but to use that as an excuse not to give spare change to the drunk beggar is insufficient if we actually do nothing to encourage self sufficiency.
Too many people say, ?¢‚Ç¨?ìI?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢m not giving him even a penny because he?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢ll just spend it on drugs.?¢‚Ç¨¬ù Yet they contribute nothing to programmes to get them off drugs or make them employable.
If we want to be charitable, then we should be charitable. It’s not up to us to be judgemental.