Paying for School

My ongoing adventures in life and the pursuit of more...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Poverty Mentality

Imagine a jar full of jelly beans and you have to guess how many are in there just by looking.  Guess how many beans there are in that jar and then add 10 and you’ll have the number of times I've been at Christian conferences where someone addressed our poverty mentality.  I've been in conferences where it was prayed off, broken off, commanded off and yelled off.  And in all the years that I've been going to Christian meetings I've never once heard someone say what Jeremiah said about poverty mentality.

Jeremiah 22:16
“He gave justice and help to the poor and needy,
    and everything went well for him.
Isn't that what it means to know me?”
    says the Lord.

According to the Old Testament or First Testament prophets the fastest track to trouble and landing in exile is abusing those who are weak, doing nothing for those who are in need, exploiting the poor and hurting.  This is the poverty mentality that the Scriptures warn us against, not "thinking we don’t deserve to be rich" but thinking we do.  The poverty mentality the prophets call us to is to be mindful of the widow, the orphan, the weak, the impoverished.  Help them...or else.

“Isn't that what it means to know me?”

It’s been a potent combination to go swimming this afternoon in the prophets right after a big meal of Francis of Assisi.  Hard not to get a cramp in my soul.  But then maybe that’s just exactly what I need.  I need to be drowned in a poverty mentality until my heart no longer beats for stuff, ‘til my body no longer responds to stuff.

How is a pilgrim supposed to live in a land of plenty?

"Make us worthy, Lord, to serve those people throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger. Give them through our hands, this day, their daily bread, and by our understanding love, give them peace and Joy. Amen" - a prayer of Mother Theresa

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