Don’t Fear Poverty

Vigilant

Kingfisher
Woman
There are those who make poverty their idol, and there are those that make wealth their idol. Neither poverty, nor wealth are necessarily a curse. It depends on the soul's attitude and use of either. Even affliction can be accepted as for God or against Him.
 

Evan

Chicken
There is something to be said about storing up resources for the inventible future droughts and storms of life. Just look at the story of Joseph, he told the Pharaoh to begin storing up enough resources to last a 7 year drought/famine. Many people follow the model of saving up enough money to cover 3-6 months of living expenses should they lose their stream of income. To save up 7 years worth of living expenses would seem absolutely preposterous. The point I'm trying to get across is that money should be viewed simply as a tool- nothing more and nothing less. As many men know, you have to have the right tools to get the job done. You don't want to be caught in a bad situation without the right tools. As Christians we need to have the right perspective on money while also understanding the associated dangers and temptations that can come with wealth. Don't ever fear money, fear the LOVE of money.

"Prepare your outside work,
Make it fit for yourself in the field;
And afterward build your house."
Proverbs 24:27

"Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling, but a foolish man devours it."
Proverbs 21:20

"A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame."
Proverbs 10:4-5

"A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, but the sinner's wealth is laid up for the righteous."
Proverbs 13:22

"But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."
Timothy 5:8

"The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty."
Proverbs 21:5
 

Roosh

Cardinal
Orthodox
Just look at the story of Joseph, he told the Pharaoh to begin storing up enough resources to last a 7 year drought/famine.
But he did not store up for himself or his family, but the entire nation. Is that what you're doing when you store things? Look at the rich man and the barn in the New Testament for what happens to a man who stores up for himself.
 

Kitty Tantrum

Woodpecker
Woman
Sometimes the thought worms its way into my mind that I could do much more good in the world if I had the command of vast resources - which in the simplest modern terms, means lots of income/money in the bank. It FEELS very true when I find myself thinking it. I have no particular lifestyle desires - but I seem to have the requisite "knack" for building wealth; have just always chosen not to. Why not put that knack to use, and do good/charitable things with it?

I'm still in the process of figuring out how to explain that this is the wrong approach. The surest thing I can say is that any time I start courting the idea, God tells me "no." This is part of how I ended up figuring out that God exists, because it never made any sense for that answer to come from anywhere inside of my own mind. I've got emotional baggage about men who love money, but don't have the same sort of emotional reaction when thinking about making money myself; rather it's a calm-but-abrupt shut-down:

"Wouldn't it be great if I had ABC [wealth/resource], so that I could XYZ [good thing]?"

"No."

"But... you KNOW I would do it right! I don't want it for myself!"

"No."

"... But why NOT?"

"You're smart; figure it out."

:confused::boring:

Here's what I've cobbled together so far:

- That's not my station in life. That's not where God put me. If I were meant (or if someday in the future I am meant) to do good things via strength of material resources, God would give those things to me. I would not have to pursue them at the expense of the time/thought/services I render to God and man currently, in my small and simple ways.

- Money has a greater ability to corrupt (directly, literally) than I am even able to comprehend.

- Something to do with money (currency) being used as a SUBSTITUTE for social credentials/honor (which are much more important in barter, where resources being bartered are not necessarily on-hand to be immediately/mutually tendered/exchanged, as it is with money), creating innate moral/spiritual vulnerabilities in any system that relies on it.

- It is more important for me to learn to be able to raise community support for my ideas, than to generate the money to fund them outright myself.
 

a kullervo

Chicken
Is the love of God the last resort for those afflicted by the hate of men?

Dear Sir,

Thank you for having the courage to put the mind where the heart is.
May you - and all your readers - find what you are looking for.

Kind regards.
 

Evan

Chicken
But he did not store up for himself or his family, but the entire nation. Is that what you're doing when you store things? Look at the rich man and the barn in the New Testament for what happens to a man who stores up for himself.
I agree, it is wrong for a man to store up only for himself. Hopefully if one is truly being led by the Holy Spirit that will not become the case. God has given each of us a different area/range of responsibility. The Pharaoh's responsibility was that of his entire nation and he had the means to accumulate resources for all of his people. When I think of saving up money/resources, I'm thinking of my current family, my future wife and children and my local church which I already give to, for this is the level of responsibility God has given me on this day. I have been focused on building consistency in both giving and saving money so that if it is God's will to make me a steward of more I will already have established financial integrity before God.
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Kingfisher
Orthodox
I agree, it is wrong for a man to store up only for himself. Hopefully if one is truly being led by the Holy Spirit that will not become the case. God has given each of us a different area/range of responsibility. The Pharaoh's responsibility was that of his entire nation and he had the means to accumulate resources for all of his people. When I think of saving up money/resources, I'm thinking of my current family, my future wife and children and my local church which I already give to, for this is the level of responsibility God has given me on this day. I have been focused on building consistency in both giving and saving money so that if it is God's will to make me a steward of more I will already have established financial integrity before God.
A man's duty is to provide for his family, which includes passing on wealth to his descendants.

However, there is a simple rule to ensure that you're not hoarding too much:

"Pass on enough to your children so that they can do anything, but not so much that they can do nothing."

Anything in excess should be given to the poor or your church.
 
The problem isn't wealth (nor necessarily the drive to acquire it), it's human desire. There is a world of difference between a man making money so he can buy expensive yachts, the finest wine and so forth and a man who merely desires **** you money. Some of us have simply reached the point where we no longer want to be the boss's *****.

And let's face it, would you rather have a normal, well adjusted wife and kids in say the caucuses/south east asia or would you like to bend over whenever your blue haired american harpy feels like it? If you want to have the former you got to have the resources to make it happen and if you want the latter then it's time to hand in your man card.
 

Troller

Pelican
Problem is sins. It´s not wealth or money or cars or food. Food is not a sin. Glutony is. All of those are objects. Poor people suffer a lot. Some kids end up in drugs and in crime. In a vicious cycle. Entering and leaving jail. A gun can kill or defend you. I think if your rich most of the times it was made by selfishness and avarice. But some people just work hard like dogs. Or have money inherited. What is the most important is work. You need to work. Work. Of course if you have money everything sin is cheap. That´s why it´s hard for a rich person to enter heaven. But it´s not impossible. Jesus didn´t say it was impossible. He didn´t said wealth was a sin. What he said was it would be really hard for people who are rich to enter heaven. Because most men will succumb to sin if they get rich.
Money can be used for good.
 

Vigilant

Kingfisher
Woman
Why I think God brings this particular sin of worshiping wealth, is probably because wealth means power. The power given to corrupt 'government' and tyrants can cause the most damage?
 

Diocletian

Woodpecker
I don’t think most people in the West really understand true poverty; we tend to conflate poverty with a simple lack of material possessions.

When I was a teenager, I participated in a project with my Boy Scout troop and a charity group. We went to the slums outside Tijuana and built small houses for the people living there. The shack I helped tear down was home for a family of ten--8 kids and a ninth on the way. It was one room of course and slightly bigger than just the bedroom of a 500 sq ft apartment. The father got up at 3am every day to catch a ride into SoCal for day labor and the mother worked as a prostitute. They had 8 kids and a ninth on the way. Their shack was made of old cardboard boxes propped up against each other. I got to see their meal for the day, sitting in an old pot they had a few potatoes in some brown water; every other day or so a truck would come into the area and distribute water. There was of course zero sanitation and disease was probably common.

That is true poverty which I definitely fear. I compare that to my paternal grandfather who grew up in a stone house with a dirt floor on a rural cattle ranch before and during the Depression, #6 of 13 kids. People today would consider that poverty, but it really isn’t—he had durable housing, always had food, and regular work. He had very little in the way of material wealth but never lived in grinding destitution like those people in Mexico; I doubt most in the West ever have. I think the distinction should be made that we need not fear the lack of unnecessary products or fat bank accounts.

What people in the modern West actually fear is not being able to participate in the consumerist ritual, and it has probably gotten worse with the ability to obscenely flaunt material status via social media. Humans are after all social creatures and find it difficult to completely live our lives without regard for the opinions of others.

If you have kids and they’re old enough, I definitely recommend taking them on some kind of similar trip to the third world, or even doing it just yourself. It really instills in you a sense of respect for other people that is hard to get otherwise.
 

Troller

Pelican
I don’t think most people in the West really understand true poverty; we tend to conflate poverty with a simple lack of material possessions.

When I was a teenager, I participated in a project with my Boy Scout troop and a charity group. We went to the slums outside Tijuana and built small houses for the people living there. The shack I helped tear down was home for a family of ten--8 kids and a ninth on the way. It was one room of course and slightly bigger than just the bedroom of a 500 sq ft apartment. The father got up at 3am every day to catch a ride into SoCal for day labor and the mother worked as a prostitute. They had 8 kids and a ninth on the way. Their shack was made of old cardboard boxes propped up against each other. I got to see their meal for the day, sitting in an old pot they had a few potatoes in some brown water; every other day or so a truck would come into the area and distribute water. There was of course zero sanitation and disease was probably common.

That is true poverty which I definitely fear. I compare that to my paternal grandfather who grew up in a stone house with a dirt floor on a rural cattle ranch before and during the Depression, #6 of 13 kids. People today would consider that poverty, but it really isn’t—he had durable housing, always had food, and regular work. He had very little in the way of material wealth but never lived in grinding destitution like those people in Mexico; I doubt most in the West ever have. I think the distinction should be made that we need not fear the lack of unnecessary products or fat bank accounts.

What people in the modern West actually fear is not being able to participate in the consumerist ritual, and it has probably gotten worse with the ability to obscenely flaunt material status via social media. Humans are after all social creatures and find it difficult to completely live our lives without regard for the opinions of others.

If you have kids and they’re old enough, I definitely recommend taking them on some kind of similar trip to the third world, or even doing it just yourself. It really instills in you a sense of respect for other people that is hard to get otherwise.
I´ve been wanting to take them to a slum. For them to know how lucky they are. My 9 year old when he was six once crossed a road without looking. A car braked. When we arrived home he spent 15 minutes watching kids ran over by cars. Now yesterday my 5 year old also crossed without looking. Running. Your post reminded me of putting him also watching kids getting run over. I´m more soft now. Only two videos. I wanted to put a compilation but YT asked me for a visa card to check my age??? Anyway fact is the 9 year old never crossed a road without looking again. And I hope the 5 year old will have learned his lesson.
 

Vigilant

Kingfisher
Woman
I don’t think most people in the West really understand true poverty; we tend to conflate poverty with a simple lack of material possessions.

When I was a teenager, I participated in a project with my Boy Scout troop and a charity group. We went to the slums outside Tijuana and built small houses for the people living there. The shack I helped tear down was home for a family of ten--8 kids and a ninth on the way. It was one room of course and slightly bigger than just the bedroom of a 500 sq ft apartment. The father got up at 3am every day to catch a ride into SoCal for day labor and the mother worked as a prostitute. They had 8 kids and a ninth on the way. Their shack was made of old cardboard boxes propped up against each other. I got to see their meal for the day, sitting in an old pot they had a few potatoes in some brown water; every other day or so a truck would come into the area and distribute water. There was of course zero sanitation and disease was probably common.

That is true poverty which I definitely fear. I compare that to my paternal grandfather who grew up in a stone house with a dirt floor on a rural cattle ranch before and during the Depression, #6 of 13 kids. People today would consider that poverty, but it really isn’t—he had durable housing, always had food, and regular work. He had very little in the way of material wealth but never lived in grinding destitution like those people in Mexico; I doubt most in the West ever have. I think the distinction should be made that we need not fear the lack of unnecessary products or fat bank accounts.

What people in the modern West actually fear is not being able to participate in the consumerist ritual, and it has probably gotten worse with the ability to obscenely flaunt material status via social media. Humans are after all social creatures and find it difficult to completely live our lives without regard for the opinions of others.

If you have kids and they’re old enough, I definitely recommend taking them on some kind of similar trip to the third world, or even doing it just yourself. It really instills in you a sense of respect for other people that is hard to get otherwise.
I understand poverty through my ancestors:
They Were White and They Were Slaves by Michael Hoffman
"Irish White Slavery, the First Slaves, the Slavery Story They Don't Want You To Know" - Proactive Preppers (youtube channel).

 

LightofApollo

Sparrow
Woman
They didn't call him the golden-mouthed for nothing!
I think the parable of Lazarus can be a comfort as well. If you're receiving your heart's content in this world, you'll be the thirsty one in the next.
 

messaggera

Woodpecker
Woman
I understand poverty through my ancestors:
They Were White and They Were Slaves by Michael Hoffman
"Irish White Slavery, the First Slaves, the Slavery Story They Don't Want You To Know" - Proactive Preppers (youtube channel).


You know who else shared slaves among her inner circle?

Ghislaine Maxwell case details too ‘sensational and impure’ for public, judge says

[NY Post article]

Maxwell, 59, is charged with recruiting and grooming girls to be sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein in the 1990s — and for lying under oath.
 

DanielaEverheart

Sparrow
Woman
I'll have to pick up a copy of that book - and if anybody can recommend others in a similar vein, please do!

I am slowly working on bringing my husband around to seeing that material poverty is not so bad.

My dad raised me and my brothers on something like $10-15k per year, and always stressed to me that being "poor" was better than being part of the "rat race."

But he STILL managed to harbor something of an obsession with money - and when he and my mom split, they both fought over custody of all the kids, primarily for child-support-related reasons. I'm sure it didn't FEEL like greed to them, it felt like FEAR because they were both poor enough that having to make any substantial payment would be a hefty burden. But even as a kid I perceived that they were wasting more time and energy than any of their efforts could ever be worth. They were too emotional to understand that they were BOTH expending more than EITHER stood to gain, or to reserve (those who understand family courts may be nodding grimly here).

This is why I NEVER fought that fight with my ex-husband. I've loosely kept track of how much the court assumes he's been paying me, vs. what he's actually paid me, and the difference is probably close to $50k by now. If I had that $50k today, do you suppose I could use it to buy back the PEACE (in the family, AND my own peace of mind) that I destroyed/sacrificed in the fighting for it? Is there anything I could buy for $50k that is of greater value than peace of mind and familial harmony?

If anyone is still hung up on contemplating, I'll give you the answers: NO, and NO.

My husband was kind of skeptical/nervous about being the primary (typically the only) breadwinner for our family because his baseline income is under $30k. A decade or so ago he was making six figures as a single guy, so our current situation is many, MANY steps down for him in terms of material comfort. TBH I was worried early on that he might not even want to marry me because of my well-established history of not forcing my ex to pay up. It's awkward to explain to someone that you technically, legally have an "income" of almost a thousand dollars per month on paper that you don't have to work for, but regularly (voluntarily) decline to claim 50-100% of it. :oops:

It seems like he doesn't quite understand my perspective, which is to be expected - because frankly a big part of my distaste for money is emotional baggage (parents fighting about child support, ex-husband wanted me to be a stripper/whore == MONEY BAD). But when he has been practically faced with choosing between having more money, or gaining greater peace of mind, he has so far always (wisely) chosen the latter (and I try to steer him in that direction - like encouraging him to open his own business vs. "finding a job" or to take an unplanned day off to go fishing "because why else would you be your own boss?"). He says he is much happier now than when he had a lot more money and "things." But he seems almost surprised by this, like he still hasn't quite connected the dots.

I'm not super good at explaining all of this without actually getting into my emotional baggage (money bad lol), so I am always on the lookout for sources to help explain the principle in perhaps a less disordered way. :blush:
 

DanielaEverheart

Sparrow
Woman
I'll have to pick up a copy of that book - and if anybody can recommend others in a similar vein, please do!

I am slowly working on bringing my husband around to seeing that material poverty is not so bad.

My dad raised me and my brothers on something like $10-15k per year, and always stressed to me that being "poor" was better than being part of the "rat race."

But he STILL managed to harbor something of an obsession with money - and when he and my mom split, they both fought over custody of all the kids, primarily for child-support-related reasons. I'm sure it didn't FEEL like greed to them, it felt like FEAR because they were both poor enough that having to make any substantial payment would be a hefty burden. But even as a kid I perceived that they were wasting more time and energy than any of their efforts could ever be worth. They were too emotional to understand that they were BOTH expending more than EITHER stood to gain, or to reserve (those who understand family courts may be nodding grimly here).

This is why I NEVER fought that fight with my ex-husband. I've loosely kept track of how much the court assumes he's been paying me, vs. what he's actually paid me, and the difference is probably close to $50k by now. If I had that $50k today, do you suppose I could use it to buy back the PEACE (in the family, AND my own peace of mind) that I destroyed/sacrificed in the fighting for it? Is there anything I could buy for $50k that is of greater value than peace of mind and familial harmony?

If anyone is still hung up on contemplating, I'll give you the answers: NO, and NO.

My husband was kind of skeptical/nervous about being the primary (typically the only) breadwinner for our family because his baseline income is under $30k. A decade or so ago he was making six figures as a single guy, so our current situation is many, MANY steps down for him in terms of material comfort. TBH I was worried early on that he might not even want to marry me because of my well-established history of not forcing my ex to pay up. It's awkward to explain to someone that you technically, legally have an "income" of almost a thousand dollars per month on paper that you don't have to work for, but regularly (voluntarily) decline to claim 50-100% of it. :oops:

It seems like he doesn't quite understand my perspective, which is to be expected - because frankly a big part of my distaste for money is emotional baggage (parents fighting about child support, ex-husband wanted me to be a stripper/whore == MONEY BAD). But when he has been practically faced with choosing between having more money, or gaining greater peace of mind, he has so far always (wisely) chosen the latter (and I try to steer him in that direction - like encouraging him to open his own business vs. "finding a job" or to take an unplanned day off to go fishing "because why else would you be your own boss?"). He says he is much happier now than when he had a lot more money and "things." But he seems almost surprised by this, like he still hasn't quite connected the dots.

I'm not super good at explaining all of this without actually getting into my emotional baggage (money bad lol), so I am always on the lookout for sources to help explain the principle in perhaps a less disordered way. :blush:
Money isn't bad for me :)
Buuuut I can soo relate. Good news! My mom took that same startegy and I consider that a huge reason on why my siblings and I could live through our father's terminal disease without a strain in our relationship. I thank God for her
 

Vigilant

Kingfisher
Woman
"An interesting book written by a Jewish Michele Riquet, Christian Charity in Action, which describes what was done in those centuries and well into the Middle Ages. [mischievously called dark ages]
" St. John Chrysostom with 100,000 members under his diocese, under his bishopric was supporting 50,000 widows, orphans, needy people, elderly people and yet he would preach with intensity, “If you feel that what we are doing though the various ministries of the Church absolves you of responsibility personally to take care of need where you see it and to bring needy people into your home, then God will judge you, because we are all called to represent Christ.”

Although James 1:27 applies, bear in mind that this is done within our own kin first. That our own family, relatives, spiritual kin have first benefit of our charity, not unbelievers, especially not "dogs".
"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world".

We are required by God to discern who our priority persons and groups are, and not become self-righteous, social signalling the Babylonian multi-cult dilution of Christendom.
Luke 9:60 - Let the 'dead' bury the dead as we cannot help everyone, otherwise we will become a wose effeminate, sentimental, impotent culture.
Luke 9:60 also means to preach the gospel once, which is our duty, but if one rejects Him, then move on. No more obligation, so no "bible-bashing".

 
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