Does God want us to live in poverty or abundance?
If you’ve ever been to church on a regular basis, you’ve probably heard the story of the poor widow who gave everything she had.
You see, all these rich merchants we’re donating from their wealth they had earned, but then this poor widow comes along who only has two coins to her name and donates them both.
In the bible Jesus points out how great her gift was because she donated from her poverty and gave everything she had, while everyone else donated from their wealth.
But does this mean God wants us to take a vow of poverty?
Some people interpret this to think that God is telling us we would be more spiritual to take a vow of poverty. But is that the real message?
Other parts of the bible may seem to contradict this because it talks about God blessing us with His abundance and how we are supposed to take what he gives us and grow it.
But maybe it’s not a contradiction. What if God’s plan is to give us the abundance we can handle and grow it in order to tithe some to help others?
2017 version of the poor widow.
Let’s fast forward to my own modern day version of the poor widow.
Let’s say money is being collected at the church to help the homeless.
So the same poor widow has $2 on her and donates it all towards this cause.
Now let’s say a very wealthy business owner donates a million dollars to build a homeless shelter, with the stipulation that his company name appears on the shelter.
Let’s take it a step further and say deep down, he really doesn’t care about the homeless, but thinks it’s a good way to advertise and grow his business.
Now for the million dollar ethical and moral question.
Who helped the homeless out more? The poor widow or the rich selfish man?
If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll say the rich greedy man did more for the homeless, than the poor widow.
Again, I’m not asking who performed a more noble act.
I’m simply saying the facts point toward the rich greedy man’s actions regardless of his intent will help out many more homeless.
In fact the poor widow will most likely benefit from his actions as well, because she is still poor and homeless herself and has no money or means to support herself.
Perhaps God’s real plan is to have us create abundance and give or tithe to help others.
Giving money to help others in need is not only a noble cause, but I believe it helps us by creating an abundance mentality.
Those who horde their money suffer from a lack mentality.
No matter how much money they have, they don’t want to give anyway for fear they will run out of money someday.
So they end up dying rich and leaving it to their heirs who will go out and probably blow it.
Perhaps we need to take care of ourselves first so we aren’t a burden on others.
Just like the instructions on an airplane in case the pressure drops in the cabin. The oxygen masks will drop and you put your’s on first and then help the other person.
Because if you don’t help yourself first you could pass out and then be of no use to anyway.
Maybe we need to look at money the same way.
Get your own financial life in order so you can then create abundance and do more good for others.
Because if you continue to do the same things you’ve always done and it keeps you in poverty or just enough to get by, what will change to ever allow you to have abundance?
Praying alone isn’t enough. You need to take action.
Some people think they can just pray to God for abundance and sit back and wait.
But God doesn’t work that way.
He hears our prayer’s but expects us to get off our butts and go out and earn it.
He will show you the path.
But there are lessons He needs to teach you along the way.
God’s lessons to getting out of poverty and creating abundance.
- Pray but take action. – God helps those who help themselves. Pray for God’s guidance and then take action when he reveals his plan to you.
- Have faith and don’t quit. – It’s not going to be easy. Most people give up, often at the point just before they make it work. Ride out the ups and downs and keep moving forward.
- Create an emergency fund. – Things will happen along the way to challenge you financially. Just when you have money saved up, you may need car repairs or the furnace goes out. This is where the emergency fund comes in, so you are not caught off guard.
- Pay off your debt. – The old saying about the borrower is slave to the lender holds true. Use Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball and pay your debt off and obtain financial freedom.
- Leverage your money by being an investor. – This where you get your money to work for you.
- Leverage your time by being a business owner. – This is where you leverage the effort of others to work for you.
- Create wealth and give. -Tithe and give to those in need. As Dave Ramsey said, if you hold on to all of your money and it doesn’t flow, it’s like a stagnant pond that will eventually start to stink. Instead keep the money flowing like a river.
I believe God’s plan for us is to create a life of abundance and not take a vow of poverty. Create wealth and give a portion of that to help others do the same.
Even better yet, is teach others to do the same by creating their own wealth and then give to other’s themselves.