I have grown increasingly loath of accepting government assistance. For years my family has received help from others in the forms of food stamps, county health programs, church benevolence, and the Percentage of Income Payment (PIP) programs of utility companies. Reading capitalist and anti-socialist books, I have increasingly felt the need to pay my own way despite a low-paying factory job and to prepare for a bleak national economic future.
For years I have expected God to release judgment upon the US for our idolatries and faithless behaviors. This is especially true after reading God Vs. Socialism in which Joel McDurmon points out the idolatry inherent in dependence on the government. I also read One Second After, which depicts what happens to society after an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) burst over the US kills all electronic devices. The 20% of the population who survive are reduced to harsh, basic survival realities. Then the opportunity came to renew my application for the PIP program and I saw I had to make a choice.
On the benefits side, the PIP program allowed me to even out my monthly payments to utility companies over the year. I also helped me to significantly slashed the large debt to each company that built up over the years. This has reduced the debt to the electric company to near the monthly bill. The debt to the natural gas company is still large and I would miss not having it slashed.
On the negative side, it is a government program to help those who cannot (or will not) help themselves. It fosters the idolatry of dependence on the government rather than on the God Who Provides. I want to get away from that and make my own way. If I can be part of helping other people instead (Eph 4:28), so much the better.
I have resolved to forego the PIP program. I intend to pay off the debt to the gas company, no matter how difficult it may be. I will have to rework my Internet-based envelope budget system and I must capitalize on my stories, getting them ready for publication and onto the market.
And, of course, I will have to rely on the Lord my Provider, believing I am doing the right thing. I believe this is the pattern all Americans must follow.