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What does the Bible say about being poor?

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Loyal
Great read, Thought some might like it

The Bible has a lot to say about being poor. In many places, the Bible portrays poor people as having been blessed, while many who are rich are seen in a negative light. Jesus Himself was poor, not having a home or a place “to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). The disciples and most of Jesus’ followers were poor, at least in worldly terms, but rich in spiritual wealth. The disciples even left all they had to follow Him, giving up all they owned, placing their full trust in Him to provide what they needed. Jesus said the poor will always be with us (Matthew 26:11). There is no shame in being poor. Our attitude should be that of the writer in Proverbs who said, “Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread” (Proverbs 30:8).

The rich, on the other hand, are generally portrayed negatively in the Bible. Wealth itself is seen as a detriment to those who desire to enter the kingdom of God. Jesus talks a lot about the woes of being rich and the blessings of being poor. For example, in the scene where He interacted with the rich young ruler, He declares: “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:23). In fact, He repeated this statement in the very next verse to emphasize the reality of what He just said. Why did He make such a shocking statement? Because the rich tend to trust in their “riches” more than in God. Wealth tends to pull us away from God.

The story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) displays clearly the temporary nature of riches. The rich man enjoyed great luxury in life, but spent eternity in hell because of his greed and covetousness. Lazarus suffered the indignities of extreme poverty, but was comforted in heaven forever. Jesus Himself left His throne in heaven in order to take on the lowly form of a poor man. Paul said of Him, “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).

At some point, as Christians we must ask ourselves: What are we really doing here in this temporary place? Where is our heart (Luke 12:34)? Are we really denying ourselves? Are we really giving sacrificially as did the poor widow? To follow Jesus is to take up our cross. This means to literally give our total lives to Him, unencumbered by the riches of this world. As Jesus put it in the parable of the sower, “The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22).

It is those thorns, “the worries of this life” and the “deceitfulness of wealth,” the not-so-subtle tools of Satan, that lure us away from God and His Word. In essence, the Bible paints for us a vast contrast between those who are poor yet rich in Christ and those who are rich yet without God.

What does the Bible say about being poor?
 
Loyal
The Bible has a lot to say about being poor. In many places, the Bible portrays poor people as having been blessed Yeah! Why were they blessed? Luke 6: (AMP)
20 And looking toward His disciples, He began [a]speaking: “Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are you who are poor [in spirit, those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for the kingdom of God is yours [both now and forever]. while many who are rich are seen in a negative light. Jesus Himself was poor, not having a home or a place “to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). The disciples and most of Jesus’ followers were poor, at least in worldly terms, but rich in spiritual wealth. The disciples even left all they had to follow Him, giving up all they owned, placing their full trust in Him to provide what they needed. Wow! Peter gave up his house and his wife?! Matthew 8:14 Luke was a doctor. Did he give that up? Doctors make good money. Jesus said the poor will always be with us (Matthew 26:11). There is no shame in being poor. Our attitude should be that of the writer in Proverbs who said, “Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread” (Proverbs 30:8). Now that’s a selfish attitude. How can he give to the poor if all he has will meet only his needs?

The rich, on the other hand, are generally portrayed negatively in the Bible. Wealth itself is seen as a detriment to those who desire to enter the kingdom of God. It is not that wealth is intrinsically evil, or that poverty is blessed. Rather, a devotion to gathering wealth is incompatible with devotion to God. God must always be the most important thing in our lives:

"No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." (NLT, Luke 16:13)

The craving for wealth and possessions can lead us into all kinds of temptation. While we spend evenings and weekends earning extra money, we are depriving our families of our love and attention. We may take unfair advantage of our customers, employers, or employees. We may attempt to rationalize our greed by closing our minds and hearts to the needs and rights of others. In the process, we could end up being stingy, bitter and isolated.

Jesus talks a lot about the woes of being rich and the blessings of being poor. For example, in the scene where He interacted with the rich young ruler, He declares: “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:23). In fact, He repeated this statement in the very next verse to emphasize the reality of what He just said. Why did He make such a shocking statement?Because the rich tend to trust in their “riches” more than in God. Wealth tends to pull us away from God. Is it the riches they have? Or is it human weakness, greed for more, that makes it difficult to enter heaven…..As said above….human weakness and trusting money instead of God…

The story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) displays clearly the temporary nature of riches. The rich man enjoyed great luxury in life, but spent eternity in hell because of his greed and covetousness. Lazarus suffered the indignities of extreme poverty, but was comforted in heaven forever. Jesus Himself left His throne in heaven in order to take on the lowly form of a poor man. Paul said of Him, “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).

The rich man here is prime example of letting your riches get in your way.

At some point, as Christians we must ask ourselves: What are we really doing here in this temporary place? Where is our heart (Luke 12:34)? Are we really denying ourselves? Are we really giving sacrificially as did the poor widow? To follow Jesus is to take up our cross. This means to literally give our total lives to Him, unencumbered by the riches of this world. As Jesus put it in the parable of the sower, “The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22).

It is those thorns, “the worries of this life” and the “deceitfulness of wealth,” the not-so-subtle tools of Satan, that lure us away from God and His Word. In essence, the Bible paints for us a vast contrast between those who are poor yet rich in Christ and those who are rich yet without God.

Satan uses riches to ensnare rich people

Mark 4:19

And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulnessofriches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

Dave Most of this article is based on religious doctrine and not Word…He uses verses out of context and partial verses…
 
Loyal
I disagree with you, what religion would you be talking about??
I'm talking about how Christians will take a verse out of context and build a doctrine on it...Or an incomplete thought. One example... Jesus was NOT saying He was poor when He said He had no place....He was telling the young fellow that he would seldom be home....As a Christian, you should know that any time God calls a Christian to do something, God will bankroll it....And the gospels are full of examples of this.
 
Loyal
Bendito it sounds like your talking about the prosperity gospel for it is written, (I included the whole entire text.) I highlighted a couple things I am willing to bet that you will never here a property gospel teacher preach, and if they leave out part of the gospel are they not false teachers?

False Teachers and True Contentment

Teach and urge these things. 3If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the soundb words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. 6But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7for we brought nothing into the world, andc we cannot take anything out of the world. 8But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
 
Active
The million dollar word is modesty.

God uses rich and poor. God prospers with money and spirit. It all depends on His will which is also based on who we are. Some of us have talents and abilities beyond others in this field. We have natural gifts for better employment or entrepreneurship. Like all those mentioned in scripture we are to use our gifts for God not our own vanity.

So it all boils down to modesty. We need to ask this question of every rich person professing to be a Christian. Because Christianity 101 is modesty.

I enjoyed reading the OP. What it tells me is that we are not to worry about our prosperity or lack thereof. It is God's baby. Our lives are in His hands. As long as we are not lazy or in sin, whatever / wherever He wants us, rich or poor, it will come to pass.

All the claiming, reciting scripture and positive thinking (taught as faith) taught by the prosperity teachers is us trying to find our own lives VS trusting them in His hands. It is OT teaching of monkey see, monkey do. Eye for an eye. Do X receive Y. NT is do X expecting nothing. Matt 10:39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
 
Loyal
English Standard Version
Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?

The Sin of Partiality

1My brothers,a show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 2For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” 4have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? 6But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? 7Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?

Everywhere I look into the bible Jesus show favoritism to the poor and warns of the traps and temptations of riches.
 
Administrator
Staff Member
Christians sometimes think financial prosperity is automatically bad, not true. They also might think those who are poor financially are not blessed by God.

God chooses to bless those richly with money for His purpose and others He may not entrust as much because He knows it will hinder them, as in they'd misuse money for ungodly purposes.

Here's a short sermon by Derek Prince called "God or Mammon?" on the topic of money.

 
Active
I believe that the plan of God Jesus talked about was for everyone to have equal amounts. For example: Rich people, sell everything & give it to the poor. Now lets say we actually did this.

The people that were once rich would then be financially poor & would be given money from poor people that are now able to give. We are ALL equal in the eyes of God. He has no favorites. If we ALL have equal amounts of anything & served God there wouldn't be any issues.

Rich people to me are them that have enough money to buy what they want without any worry of how their going to pay for it. There are many that "look" well off but are buried in debt that they will never get out of in their lifetime. Then you have the wealthy. Them that have vacation homes, yachts & cars just because they run out of things to buy.

I've personally witnessed wealthy people & from what I seen they were empty. So empty that I could feel it myself. If everyone lived as God planned there wouldn't be any problems. No worries & everyone would have equal amounts of everything. Greed, selfishness & superiority are what tossed Gods plan out the window. More is better, bigger is better, having the most, the best & the like are what our goals are. We reach & reach for hollow empty 'things' because God isn't our priority or #1 goal. 10% isn't even in the bible. The word tithe means 10%. God wants 100% I mean he gives his all & as we give the measly amounts we give its no wonder the world has all the problems it does.

I speak for myself on this. No pointing fingers by me. I can own this personal issue I myself have. I have been talking with God so that I can be on the page he wants me on. We as Christians have to acknowledge the issues we have before God can work.

Just my 2 cents ...

Love of Christ, Mindy
 
Active
appreciate the honesty of LK and her view. perhaps if there had been no fall in the garden, then no curse, then no selfishness/greed/sin
 
Loyal
Money (wealth) is not evil in any way, but what is evil is "the love of money" as it is the "root of all evil." (1 Tim 6:10) Where ever there is evil, the love of money will be somewhere found as it's root cause. Even a poor person can be guilty of this, even when they have nothing at all.

The poor are more inclined to accept the Gospel and believe it because it gives them the "good news" that they being poor, don't have to be poor anymore.
No one hast to poor who is a Christian.

2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
2 Peter 1:4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

Acquiring everything a person needs in this life, the Lord God has already given it to them, and this reality is revealed to them through the knowledge of him (God). If you don't know this you will never experience until you do, and believe it. They were given to us through great and precious promises.
 
Loyal
Curtis excellent post and I agree. I would add that temptation of great wealth is the fall of many men, and God constantly warns us of this in the bible, Just as gorgeous naked women in your bed is not a sin, unless you you go in the bed and do something, or even think of doing something, Money is not a sin, but I say both are have allure and a temptation that few men can handle and is best to guard yourself and be fully aware of how easy it is to fall into the temptation.

If money and great riches were not such a temptation that causes many many men to sin and fall from God, I do no think it would of been mentioned so many times in the bible. Again I agree money it self is neither good or evil. But it is so easy to be blinded IMO.

I take the below verses very serious, and also in context as well, as far as being rich probably most everyone on this board is rich in terms of global wealth we are probably all in the 10% of the world richest people, yet I am sure most of us do not feel that way and thats probaly a good thing.

English Standard Version
Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”


I tend to like this verse,

English Standard Version
Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me,
 
Loyal
As Jesus once said, "unless a man forsaketh all that he hath, he can not be my disciple."(Luke 14:33)

A poor person has no problem with this because has nothing to forsake, but not so with the rich man as that is not a good "business" practice!!
Unfortunately, there are two different economic systems that are opposed to each other in this world. One says use money to oppress others by expecting high interest rates on those who have less money than you. The other says just give to those who are in need without expecting anything in return from them. God will repay you back for your giving. "give and it shall given back to you pressed down, and overflowing will men give unto you."
 
Active
As Jesus once said, "unless a man forsaketh all that he hath, he can not be my disciple."(Luke 14:33)

A poor person has no problem with this because has nothing to forsake, but not so with the rich man as that is not a good "business" practice!!
Unfortunately, there are two different economic systems that are opposed to each other in this world. One says use money to oppress others by expecting high interest rates on those who have less money than you. The other says just give to those who are in need without expecting anything in return from them. God will repay you back for your giving. "give and it shall given back to you pressed down, and overflowing will men give unto you."
It looks like we should try to be poor but we shouldn't be surprised if it doesn't work.
 
Active
1. As Jesus once said, "unless a man forsaketh all that he hath, he can not be my disciple."(Luke 14:33)

A poor person has no problem with this because has nothing to forsake, but not so with the rich man as that is not a good "business" practice!!

2. Unfortunately, there are two different economic systems that are opposed to each other in this world. One says use money to oppress others by expecting high interest rates on those who have less money than you. The other says just give to those who are in need without expecting anything in return from them. God will repay you back for your giving. "give and it shall given back to you pressed down, and overflowing will men give unto you."
1. A rich person has an easily visible obstacle. This does not mean a poor person has none or a lessor one.

2. There is no economic system with a NT child of God. We are taken care of, period Matt 6:26. There was with the Jews. You are quoting a verse to them with a verse to us in your post above this one. IE You are mixing two messages.
 
Loyal
Christians sometimes think financial prosperity is automatically bad, not true. They also might think those who are poor financially are not blessed by God.

God chooses to bless those richly with money for His purpose and others He may not entrust as much because He knows it will hinder them, as in they'd misuse money for ungodly purposes.

Here's a short sermon by Derek Prince called "God or Mammon?" on the topic of money.

What I do not understand is why some Christians automatically see 'prosperity' as only money.....
2 Corinthians 9:8 (CJB)
8 Moreover, God has the power to provide you with every gracious gift in abundance, so that always in every way you will have all you need yourselves and be able to provide abundantly for every good cause —
This verse is about prosperity...it includes money but also all of the other kinds of prosperity.....Some people have to unlock from preconceived ideas and stop judging.
 
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