Friday, February 3, 2012

What's your poverty?

What do you have? Is it better than what I have? Can I have it? I want it. I think.
God opened a door yesterday and I went through, in faith, and I met a person on the other side I did not know.  I thought I knew her, but I didn't!  She wasn't who I thought she was and I wasn't who she thought I was.  It was very good to talk to a sister in Christ who approaches things so differently from I and yet we share the same foundation, the same belief.

The one thing we talked about that could have been a sensitive issue was poverty and money.  I never thought about it the way she does and she had not considered how I look at it.  It was enlightening. Neither was out to change the other's mind.  We were talking.

She emailed me this morning to clarify what she had said. She was afraid she had offended me.  I wasn't offended, and I messaged her back saying that.  But it still weighs upon my heart what we talked about.  We each saw the same concept, the same word in such different ways. 

Consider that. Two sisters, in Christ. Faith filled, redeemed by grace, understanding our words and works are nothing without grace and love.  And yet on this issue and one other we are at opposite ends of the spectrum.  Not in conflict because we are not judging or questioning, we are seeking to understand.

In what I saw as abundance she saw poverty.  Where I saw friends as family, she saw only family OR friends.  What I saw as a chance to see yourself as a blessing she saw as her being bereft at making a wrong choice. 

Instead of arguing, we explored and found that much like a sphere, you can be on side very far apart and yet that makes you on the other side very close together.

She still may think I'm a bit crazy!  And I will still worry for her heart.  But we neither judged nor tried to discount the other's path.   What a richness and joy that is!  What a blessing!  Her strong faith leads her, just as mine does me.  But God in His great wisdom does not have us walking the same paths, roads or wandering the same deserts.

When we talk about hot trigger words like poverty with other believers are we speaking with our hearts tuned to God?  Or are we so certain in our rightness that we feel righteous?  There are many kinds of poverty - poverty of physical needs, poverty of spirit, poverty of fellowship and poverty of _____________.

God doesn't just speak of physical poverty, He speaks of poverty of spirit as well.  If you have all the physical abundance in the world and don't have a richness in your soul then you too are sitting in poverty.

In the town I live near there are many huge homes and fancy yards.  The secret is what is inside.  Very often yard furniture or nothing.  The people invested everything they had in an outward show of wealth and were left with a hollow, empty space to live in.  This is much like our hearts as much of our lives can be dedicated to the exterior that we neglect the soul, the spirit, the Temple.  

It wasn't a word I would have chosen to use, poverty, because I see it in quite a different way.  But to her it felt and looked just like it should.  And it wasn't acceptable to her family, to her. And she felt led by God to go back to a place where she had an abundance to share with her brothers and sisters.  Her path. I pray she finds her way and is blessed as she travels it.

How do you share your abundance?  Do you question if you have anything to share?  We all do!  God gives us an abundance in the poverty of life without Him.  Are we going to share our talents, gifts and time?  Are we going to be bold and ask to be shown how to find abundance in our poverty?

I normally share a verse, but I invite you to share the verses that speak to you on this!


  1. I love the verse in Matthew 26 where Jesus reminds us that we will always have the poor among us...because I think so many do not understand what you are talking about ...poverty- spiritual and otherwise. I will never forget when I had a conversation with a friend who buys into many ideas which are worldly i.e. temporary. Yes we should do all we can to help others, but our hope is in Him...without Him we truly are impoverished. Hope this makes sense. Nothing plus Jesus is everything. Worldly wealth without Him is nothing. I like the way you sought to understand and communicate despite different perceptions...this is grace in action and leads to greater understanding and growth, yes?

    1. Yes oh very much so yes! You are so right, thanks for stopping by. Nothing plus Jesus is truly EVERYTHING! Amen sister!

  2. Some of my best learning moments come from hanging with a sister on opposite ends of the spectrum. Even if I'm "right" (ha, I'm always right) and I fear for her heart, i still realize that God works in my heart after our encounter too. Either I grow stronger in my conviction and am able to share more with others, or I come to see that indeed they may be "right" too!

    1. That is so true! Thanks for coming by and sharing. I love your humor and honesty.

  3. I really enjoyed your post. I am following your blog now. God Bless!

    Encouraging Thoughts for Life

    1. Thank you for coming by Derrick, I'm going to visit your blog. It's great to see you here! Bright blessings.