Some articles are helpful to read but turn your stomach.
That’s how I feel about this article on the link between economic difficulty and child abuse, which appeared in yesterday’s Dispatch. Child abuse in itself is a horrific reality of life. The notion that child abuse is getting worse as the economy gets worse—well, that is beyond sad.
The headline of the article, “More kids abused; economy to blame?” implies that the poor economy is the cause of child abuse. However, Rita Price, the author of the piece, was wise to include this insightful comment by Lara LaRoche, director of intake at Franklin County Children Services: “Poverty itself is not a cause of abuse or neglect. The correlation is the stresses that come with it.”
Circumstances never cause us to sin. Our sin is a result of the condition of our hearts, and the actions we take reveal the condition of our hearts. This is what Jesus meant when He said, “Out of the abundance of [a man’s] heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45 ESV). Circumstances bring out what is inside a man; they do not put something in a man.
Financial difficulty just happens to be a powerfully revealing irritant. I’ve heard a number of people say that financial issues are the number one cause of divorce. It would be more accurate to say that financial issues are the number one revealer of the heart issues that cause divorce. Money has a unique way of exposing our competing allegiances and our latent selfishness.
Thus, in our continuing effort to get rid of excuses for ungodly behavior, we can now add this: the economy didn’t make you do it.
—Beau StanleyFollow @beaustanley