Where is Your Wealth?

It’s an amazing gift of God’s grace for him to reveal our places of poverty – the places in our lives where our perspectives and priorities are out of line. Where our goals are the money and stuff of this world rather than the treasure unspeakable who is God himself. Places where we honor ourselves more than him.

I know that I do this often. Lord, help me to have a right perspective and heart in my life.

How often I think my priorities are more important than what God is doing! (Oh…I’m sure I could justify my “stuff” if I wanted to. But what’s the point – I can’t justify myself!). How often I look at my earthly wealth (such as it is) and think to myself, “I’m doing pretty well.”

The truth is, I am still living as though I am poor in the places that matter most. While God has given me a glorious inheritance in himself and in the saints, I fail to take hold of it. Lord, help me to have a right motivation and to take action.

What does the Bible say?

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Poverty is More than Money

Zimbabwe: 100 Trillion
Image by bfishadow via Flickr

Poverty is more than money.

For some of us, that might be a novel thought.

Poverty is about broken relationships

As citizens of one of the most financially affluent cultures of our time, I believe that we almost categorically understand poverty as a lack of “stuff” or the resources to have “stuff”.

But poverty goes much further than this – poverty is the expression of broken relationships:

  • Relationship with God
  • Relationship with ourselves
  • Relationships with each other
  • Relationships with creation/nature

Poverty’s message

Because it’s about broken relationships, poverty attacks our value as people, our very humanity as souls created in the image of God. Poverty says to us:

  • You’re not good enough. God doesn’t care about you.
  • You’re not important enough so it doesn’t matter what you do.
  • You have to look out for yourself even if you must take advantage of others.
  • Don’t worry about it, you don’t have to take care of the earth.
  • You can’t ever provide for your needs. Don’t even try.
  • Whatever happens is just fate.
  • It’ll never get better, so just fill your life with diversions.

Taking a look

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Americans Give More to Charity

Jack Whinery, homesteader, and his family, Pie...
Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr

Who would have guessed it? I know I wouldn’t have guessed.

Some new research (see infographic below) indicates that Americans give more to charity than any other nation – and that’s great! But we need to do more. We, the Christians in the United States, need to give more to charity. We need to help the poor be freed from poverty, to provide medical services for those in the US and in other countries, to provide even higher quality education.

We need to understand that poverty is bigger than money and stuff. It’s also brokenness, inability to provide, lack of protection. It’s broken relationships between God, ourselves, others, and all of creation. It’s broken systems that allow one person to take control of many.

We need to give more than our money. We also need to give our time, energy, and passion. We need to do it for ourselves, if not to help the destitute and oppressed – because we need to be invested in the work of the Kingdom of God. Continue reading

After My Hiatus

Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t posted any blog updates in the past couple of weeks. For that I apologize first and then explain second.

I’m sorry that I haven’t posted anything in the past couple of weeks. I’ve actually been busy being the Body of Christ. I’ve been presented with a number of “divine interruptions” and haven’t updated. I guess I figured it was more important to live the Gospel than to write about it.

I do hope to post more frequently in the future. I think you deserve that of me.

In the meantime, I would like to recommend a couple of excellent books. Both were recommended to me by my good friend John Key the director of Community Servants in Smyrna, TN. Continue reading