Thursday 26 February
By Rev Christine Sime, Dalgety Parish Church
Dignity cannot be bought but it can be built; and its worth is beyond measure.
However, being in debt drains dignity. Being unable to feed, clothe, care for your family brings folk down. Hand-outs, food banks are necessary to relieve immediate needs, but long term sustainable measures to give people back their self respect and dignity bring long lasting and invaluable change.
Ethical, moral loan agreements through savings and loan groups offer the opportunity to change the context of life for people. It offers the chance to break free from the downward spiral of debt and need, to bring hope, restore dignity.
This is Jesus' teaching, his gospel.
Not to pity, not to patronise, but to include; to lift heads and give, or restore, that sense of belonging and of truly being part of society. That should be the canvas upon which we paint our own scenarios of bringing others out of the shadows, the canvas on which we can help draw the lasting conclusions we know he would want to see. Do we reflect his gospel into the world?
In a season of searching our lives for signs of Jesus' presence and love, it is right we consider how we use our money, how we share, giving thanks for savings and loans groups.
Take time to ensure that all offers of help build dignity and self esteem, seeking to give a hand up rather than a hand out. Following Jesus' lead we will also sow seeds of friendship and faith.
Savings and loans groups provide communities with opportunities to borrow money. When they pay it back, others can then borrow money.
Give 50p for each bank account that you have access to.