There is hope in this message. We attempt to use our experience with poverty to empower those who share the experience. But boy, did it set off a hornet’s nest last week!
Here’s basically what we said in Part 1…
- Poor may not be peachy, but it isn’t something to whine about either.
- Limited finances (aka “poverty”) may be prods by God to other opportunities.
- Some believe poverty is a curse. Think again. Good things can come from poverty.
Many got what we were saying. Glum financial circumstances have hit most people at some time in their life, especially today. And we so identify! While these times may not be enjoyable, few can confess that they were absolutely debilitating. Who’s to say that God can’t reach into the glummest of circumstances and pull people through? We prefer to give hope, not doom.
But a number of people insisted on doom. Read through the 100+ posts, some posts with an attitude like, “How dare you say poverty isn’t bad. It is very, very bad!” And they rattled off the worst of scenarios (famine, starvation, abuse, drug addiction, homelessness, etc.) as if to say, “Seeeee how bad it can get?”
Such hopelessness. Do people really believe money is that much of a determiner of their fate? Apparently so. Does poverty define a person (or wealth, for that matter)? It doesn’t for us. And we don’t believe it should be for anyone!
Here’s our message, plain and simple: Poverty is not a curse. In fact, God can use the most impoverished circumstances. History is filled with rags-to-riches names who overcame adversity, beat the odds, and refused to let poverty chart their destiny. Examples like Chris Gardner, John Boehner, and Andrew Carnegie come to mind.
No doubt, history is also filled with the nameless, those who clung to the flawed excuse that poverty limits their purpose. They were defeated before they gave themselves a chance. Defeated in heart, surrendering to the false doom that poverty had something to do with their reality.
We refuse to look any poor person in the eye and say, “Your situation is hopeless. You’re miserable. No hope for you.” Insisting that poverty is inherently bad does just this. It’s not so bad, and our message should be one that encourages those who desire a better life.