Missional Monday: Don’t Reify "Helping the Poor"

I know that I am guilty of this at some level. But I’m really stuck. I, and many at Life on the Vine, are both concerned for the poor locally and globally. And that is the rub. You see, I’m concerned about not participating in poverty creating or exploitative economic practices, and therefore try as best I can to purchase ethically manufactured clothes, shoes, food, etc. I believe that every dollar I use to purchase something is not only related to that product, but circulates far beyond through economic practices/companies/regimes that I may or may not want to be affiliated with. For those reasons I support places like No Sweat, Autonomie Project, and Toms.

Now I don’t think that is missed placed concern at all, but I also know the temptation to reify my concern for the poor in these concerns for exploitation free economics. Being missional is certainly not to stand on the heads of global workers by buying designer jeans while we go out to a local coffee shops or bars and drink a designer coffee or beer. But that is not enough. We still need to seek out the poor locally and not congratulate ourselves merely for supporting local economics (as good and right as that is).

So, anyway, that is what I’m trying to remember here in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.