Poverty is more than a lack of material items. Poverty from a Biblical perspective is broken relationships with God, with self, with others, and with God’s creation. God created us to be in communion with Him, to be image bearers of Him, to be in positive relationships with others, and care for, work, and support ourselves & others. When sin entered this world all these relationships became broken. To better serve the materially poor, we need to understand that we are all broken. Regardless of our income level, we are broken and in need of Jesus Christ. Without understanding this we will end up doing more harm than good for the materially poor.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Sharing the truth of this verse helps us, the materially poor and the materially non-poor, to work together to live in a positive relationship with God, others, ourselves and creation.
We have three responses to poverty situations.
- We offer immediate relief (prayer, medical emergency, natural disaster, food, rent or utility bills – The Good Samaritan).
- Rehabilitation (one on one budgeting, praying together, helping them get back to the positive ways prior to the crisis)
- Development (prayer, work together for change & become closer to a right relationship with God, self, and others; examples financial counseling & advice, job search referrals, ESL classes).
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org