Not many of our articles stirred up more controversy than this one. We think our point was very good. In general, quit complaining about being so poor; life with little can still be very blessed. Nearly 200 comments later, you’d think we condemned the poor to an eternity in purgatory. We still stand by the thesis, and we had two more parts to the first article to further galvanized (and upset) others.
Being poor isn’t all peachy. A month ago we decided to move our business office home to save a big chunk off our monthly budget. We also “gleaned” some day-old bread from a pastor friend. We had to say no to a shuttle bus purchase that we would have liked to make, but we just couldn’t pull the big expense together. We travel to debate tournaments and prefer host housing over hotels, largely because of what we can (or can’t) afford.
But being poor isn’t anything to whine about, either. We don’t give these limitations much thought. We see them more as prods from God. They are just the way things roll here in our home: our home office has had its advantages, we’re eating great sandwiches with the bread, we suppose God has other plans for us than the bus conversion, and we get to meet people new people when we stay in their homes when traveling to tournaments.
Some think of poverty as a disease, or they fear it like a curse. Think again. What, exactly, is so bad about being poor? Are we starving? Nearly impossible to do in America. Are we miserable? We know rich miserable people. Are we without opportunity? We believe God has us right where He wants us.
Think deeper: there are good things that come about in poverty. It forces you to be creative in your financial distress, to pool resources with others in the church or your family, ultimately to depend more on God. There’s nothing inherently bad about poverty, come to think of it.
Complaining about poverty is a bit silly. We imagine God watching us fret over money (something he, by the way, told us not to love). We wring our hands and worry about our financial well being, while at the same time God is blessing us with a bountiful life that most people would die for. It’s not like poverty is persecution anyway.
Some avoid having children because they “can’t afford it.” We kid you not: we’ve heard this line of reasoning from couples who make twice as much as us. Here’s a quote from our new book, Love Another Child:
To complain of persecution is like a millionaire complaining of how tough being rich is. The millionaire, actually, would have the winning argument.
Love Another Child p. 126
The title is a good question. What’s so bad about poverty?