Recently, in a sermon titled "More than survival" I preached on the issue of poverty. Most people define poverty in financial terms. I define poverty as the inability to make choices. The wealthy believe they are 'in control', and have options while the poor believe they are 'out of control' and have no options. According to the Scriptures, both of those beliefs are wrong but I would argue that the prior is more Biblically inaccurate than the latter.
So what should the response of the church be to poverty? Do we preach
justice to the rich and exhort them to act rightly? Absolutely. Do we
speak prophetically to our leaders and challenge them to hear the cries
of their people? Without a doubt. Do we hold our own wealth with an open
hand and give freely to those around us who are in need? Yes.
But, as the Bride of Christ, we are also called to do more than that.
Following the example of our husband Jesus (who submitted himself unto death, even death on a cross), we too need to give up our
options and become poor ourselves so that we can identify with the needs
of the poor. Then through our own faith and living testimony among
them we will truly be able to offer hope in the midst of their
The ultimate testimony of victory over poverty
is not escaping it and living a life of luxury. It is freely choosing to
enter back into it, for the sake of loving and helping others, because you know it has no power over you.