Monday, July 01, 2013

God's Preference for the Poor in Spirit

Betsy Childs:
Far too many Christians have rightly recognized the Bible's emphasis on poverty, but have stopped there. They view economic equality, rather than a right relationship with the King of Kings, as the end goal of the church rather. Those of us living in the developed world who have more than we need can start to view our wealth as our guilt. Tragically, this way of thinking leads us to believe that it is possible to save ourselves from wealth, but we can never save ourselves from the wages of our sin.

Those who choose poverty or simplicity as a way of making themselves righteous live under just as much of an illusion as the wealthy man who thinks his wealth can save him from anything.

Some of us need to repent of what Alan Carter has called "old car righteousness." Christians who choose altruistic professions without a lot of income or who "live simply so that others can simply live" can quickly become self-righteous about their poverty. Being proud that you drive an old car is as sinful as being proud that you drive a new car. If living with less makes you feel better about yourself and more worthy of God's love and respect, it will make you prideful of spirit rather than poor in spirit. Thus, poverty, if it leads to spiritual pride, can itself pose a danger to our souls.

If poverty does not lead to faith, it is worthless to us, for "without faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6a).
Read the rest of this great article.

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