Now, we stayed in a very lovely resort, replete with gorgeous beaches, swimming pools, and topless women. We had a very relaxing time with our good friends. The resort also, conveniently enough, came equipped with enormous walls surrounding the perimeter.
On our way in and on our way back out, the neighboring poverty was evident. Seemingly complete destitution in an area that contained 50-plus all-inclusive resorts for fat cats (like me).
The last time I ventured to the DR, the question that we asked ourselves repeatedly was, “What does the story of the rich young ruler mean for us in America?” You remember that one – it’s the one from Luke 18 where the rich young man goes to Jesus and says basically, what do I have to do to get into heaven? Jesus says to sell everything you have and give the money to the poor, because it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven.
I’ve tried to look at that story from every angle I could think of, and I just can’t wrap my head around it. I’ve become a fan of Dave Ramsey these last few months, but I’m finding it harder and harder to jibe his philosophies of saving money with the Luke 18 story. Is accumulating money a sin? What about retirement accounts? College savings accounts? 401ks?
Then, to add another wrinkle to it, is it irresponsible to spend so much money going to a place where poverty is rampant, for no other reason than that they have a nice beach? I mean, I can justify it by saying that tourism is a huge pillar of the local economy, and while that’s true, it seems a bit weak. Is it being a bad steward (to use a truly churchy word) of what God has given me? Is it sin?
Well, am I making too much out of this? Is it much ado about nothing? Your thoughts?