~ Miguel De Cervantes (From: "Don Quixote")
The quote above does not apply only to "knights", but is illustrative of the kind of attitude all Christians should have.
Those who call themselves Christian and yet say things like:
"If I have to pass a drug test to get a job, you should have to pass a drug test to get welfare";
"If you can afford to buy beer and cigarettes, you don't need food stamps";
"Why the f**k does someone on welfare own an iPhone?" etc,
should seriously examine their conscience and carefully consider what sort of attitude this displays, for it is a judgemental attitude and is not consistent with the Gospel of Christ.
Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my Commandments" (John 14:15), and when asked which of the Commandments were the most important, said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great Commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two Commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets" (Matthew 22:37-40).
When asked, "Who is my neighbor?", Jesus replied with the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
In this Parable, we see a man helping a total stranger, even an enemy, using his own money and resources, never asking what caused the stranger to be in such a condition and not attaching any strings or limitations on his charity. This is not only a demonstration of real charity, it is also the example of the proper Christian attitude towards those in need.
Those who watch the so-called "news" and read and listen to political "commentary" that suggests that all people on welfare or receiving some other government assistance, are "lazy bums that don't want to get a job", should realize they are being manipulated by propaganda. Your thoughts and feelings are being played upon, your heart is being hardened by envy.
And what is envy? Envy is not wanting what someone else has - that is called covetousness - envy is wanting someone to be deprived of what you think they don't deserve to have. Trying to make someone feel guilty for having something that you don't, is also envy.
Envy and Covetousness go hand in hand and is the root of a judgemental attitude.
There are certainly going to be those who take advantage of government assistance programs and anything they can get their hands on, but it is not for us to become self-appointed Inquisitors. It is for us to realize that everything we have - everything - we owe to God's Love and Goodness, and not just because we have worked for and earned it. Our work and effort certainly does count, but ultimately, everything belongs to God and He bestows what He wills on whom He wills. Our notion of what is "fair" is decidedly different from God's, as can be seen in the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard:
"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard , and whatever is right I will give you'. And they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, 'Why have you been standing here idle all day?' They said to him, 'Because no one hired us.' He said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.' So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, 'Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.' And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. And when they had received it, they murmured against the landowner, saying, 'These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.' But he answered one of them and said, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?' So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen" (Matthew 20:1-16).
Stop feeding and corrupting your mind with the political trash the media dishes out.
Stop worrying about what other people have and whether or not they deserve it.
Do you love yourself enough to have a beer now and then? A steak? A smoke? Enjoy it then, and love your neighbor as yourself by not denying him the same just because he's on welfare.
Tend to your own house and your own work, whatever kind it may be.
Give a little money to the beggers and panhandlers on the street. Don't try to figure out why they are there and don't worry about what they're going to do with what you give them. Your attitude about what you do is just as important as what you do. If you do a good deed with a resentful or begrudging attitude, you lose your reward for doing it.
You should not feel guilty if you have more than others; neither should you begrudge others for having more than you.
Be Thankful - for all things and in all things. There is no other way to live a truly authentic Christian spiritual life.