I recently read an article from James K.A. Smith concerning the disparity between encouraging people to become economically stable while deriding the hallmark tenet of American dream: Upward mobility.
Those who are passionate advocates of the poor are often, oddly, knee-jerk critics of the American dream and aspirations to be middle class. How odd. It reminds me of the lyrics of an Everclear song: “I hate those people who love to tell you / money is the root of all that kills. / They have never been poor, / they have never had the joy of a welfare Christmas.” The God who cares about the poor must also be a God who celebrates economic flourishing and stability as features of shalom.
I do think it’s important to encourage people to be responsible with money, whether it be helping the impoverished reach for higher financial goals or the wealthy be generous with what they have. And, yet, all the while doing so while discouraging the worship of money as a means to happiness, security, and identity.
You can read the article here.