Monday, October 15, 2012


Many of you are poor starving students so you will understand poverty - though it is relative to our own section of this world, of course.

I'll get to my main point to you first up - so you know where I'm heading with this: 
You might be 'poor' now - but when you are financially in a better place - please do not forget the poor in our society and in the world at large.

I was listening to J K Rowling talking about her few years as a single mum in relative poverty. Obviously, now, she has no trouble paying her bills but she can still recall easily the shock of being an educated woman suddenly finding herself in a hopeless financial situation.

Personally, I've had my occasional share of relative poverty over the years also. A low point for me was being stuck in a housing trust maisonette with my wife, a young child and a baby. Our neighbours were abusive and violent. The walls were thin. The police were constantly being called out. The whole street was a squirming cesspool of moneyless hopelessness.

There is a domino effect in not having money. I needed to write out a resume to look for work. I couldn't afford ink for my computer printer, so I had to go to the library to book a computer and find coins to pay for the paper. I called the library, the computers were booked out, so I had to wait and come back a few hours later to use a computer. While I was updating my resume the teenagers next to me were looking up questionable sites and laughing - making it hard to concentrate. Eventually after buying the smallest pack of envelopes in the store and buying a single stamp - I'd send it off to a prospective employer. Hoping and praying to get more work to earn more money. This scenario was repeated. This is only -one- example.
Today,  I'll open up a document on my computer and print it out buy a handful of stamps and a larger pack of envelopes and send it off while I'm down at the store for something else. Time wise what once took me pretty well the whole day - I can do in 15 minutes. If you have always had cash-at-hand, it is hard to understand the daily terrible stress and trauma that lack of money brings. No one is to blame for 'having' or 'not having', that's certainly not my point - my point is, 'listen' to those who are poor - what are they saying? Hear their voice.

Also, let's stay away from talk about 'it's their choice' - those who choose poverty would be in the absolute minority. Most sane people do not choose to be in poverty.

I haven't mentioned the stress of trying to keep a car on the road when it finally gives up the ghost - you have to 'bus' it everywhere which takes an hour or two when it would usually take 20 minutes. You can't buy mulit-trips because it eats into the food money. You can't borrow money because you can't actually pay it back. This is all just the tip of the iceberg.

Money doesn't make you happy - but the lack of money brings terrible suffering. When you find yourself in a healthy financial position - don't forget the poor.  If you can, help them to get out of poverty but even more important, help them to get out and stay out. Then finally, help them to be able to help other people.

 "He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will  reward him for what he has done".
Proverbs 19:17

"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:40

" My friends, if you have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, you won’t treat some people better than others. Suppose a rich person wearing fancy clothes and a gold ring comes to one of your meetings. And suppose a poor person dressed in worn-out clothes also comes. You must not give the best seat to the one in fancy clothes and tell the one who is poor to stand at the side or sit on the floor. That is the same as saying that some people are better than others, and you would be acting like a crooked judge.
My dear friends, pay attention. God has given a lot of faith to the poor people in this world. He has also promised them a share in his kingdom that he will give to everyone who loves him. You mistreat the poor. But isn’t it the rich who boss you around and drag you off to court? Aren’t they the ones who make fun of your Lord?
You will do all right, if you obey the most important law in the Scriptures. It is the law that commands us to love others as much as we love ourselves." James 2

God be with you and help you to be prosperous. May God give you a heart that cheerfully and generously lifts up those who can't help themselves. May God bless you! 

Finally: "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich." 2 Corinthians 8:9

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