Research is pretty convincing that the wealthy tend to cheat more than poor on their taxes, shoplift more, and donate less to charitable causes.  In one study they even took candy from children. Many rich people think of greed as a desirable value; it makes them feel entitled to cheat and take advantage of the poor. It’s no wonder Jesus stood up for the poor who were being ripped off long ago. The religious leaders were making money head over fist by cheating worshipers. They overcharged for animals to sacrifice and in the exchange of money to pay the Temple tax. We read in Mark chapter 11 that when Jesus saw this devious game being played primarily against the poor, “He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, and he stopped everyone from using the Temple as a marketplace. He said to them, ‘The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.’” Our Lord is still outraged to see the poor and less fortunate ripped off. May we never cheat the less fortunate but rather work to foster justice for them.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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