Poverty. Destitution. Scary words. Ones we try to avoid by planning, saving, and good insurance.
But allow me to tweak your view of poverty. I researched the vow of poverty and here’s what I found. A vow of poverty is not a vow of destitution. Sister Julie said, “The vow of poverty means holding all things in common within a religious community. In other words, we as individuals do not own a single thing. Everything I have, including the shirt on my back, belongs to the community.”
Hmm. Sounds like the book of Acts.
“All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.” (Acts 2:44-45 NIV)
Likewise, Oswald Chambers held a different view of poverty: poverty triumphant.
“Never reserve anything. Pour out the best you have and always be poor. Never be diplomatic and careful about the treasure God gives. This is poverty triumphant.” O. Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, June 26
Here’s what I think God is after: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.” (Proverbs 3:27)
Let’s look at Scripture to renew our minds and to give us a proper mindset:
The Example: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (2 Cor 8:9) Jesus gave first.
Once Paupers, Now Princes: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3) We came to God bankrupt. Poor in spirit. Everything we have comes from Him.
Supply: “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion.” (2 Cor. 9:11) God equips for His call.
Reread Chambers’ quote. What treasure do you have at your disposal? Time, stuff, encouragement, affection, kindness, expertise, hospitality? Think outside the box.
Our God is an extravagant giver with deep pockets. Steward well the resources at your disposal, both the tangible and the intangible. Live in triumphant poverty, remembering your Father has an infinite supply.
Workout of the Week: Poverty Triumphant
Memory Verse: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.” Proverbs 3:27 NIV
Meditation Passage: 2 Corinthians 8:1-5
Just Do It: Give when it is in your power to act.