Poverty – What Is It Really?

What do you think of when you hear the word “poverty”?   What images come to mind?

Poverty is defined by the Miriam Webster dictionary as:

– the state of being poor

– a lack of something

“the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions”

When I was looking for images to put on this blog the above definition fit most of the pictures that filled up my screen. Pictures of children from the majority world in various stages of malnutrition and nakedness, and men who are in need of a shower and wearing clothing that needed to be laundered sitting on street curbs in North American cities.

This apparently is how North America defines poverty.

People living in need is not a modern-day issue. There are over 2,000 Bible verses that refer to the poor, social justice and God’s heart for the vulnerable, so it has been around for thousands of years. God’s heart has been for these people since the situations first appeared. The book of Deuteronomy, which we have been hearing from on Sundays, is full of God’s call to His people to feed, clothe, defend and care for the poor and vulnerable, and to do it out of hearts of gratitude for what God has done for us.

Even though God’s command is clear, in today’s complex situations many of us struggle with our own understanding of what poverty is, its root causes, and more importantly, what we can really do about it.

We can’t deny the existence of poverty. It is an unfortunate reality.

Have you wondered what you can do about it?  Is it even possible to do anything that will truly affect poverty?

It comes back to how we define it! Because the way we define a situation — either implicitly or explicitly — plays a major role in determining how we will go about working towards a solution.

If we only treat symptoms or misdiagnose the underlying problem, things are not going to improve. In fact, things could get a whole lot worse!

I attended the Poverty Revolution session in Calgary last year and am so excited to have them coming to CrossRoads in January. These sessions changed the way I view poverty and how I live life in an impoverished world.

The Poverty Revolution sessions provide:

  • a better understanding of the origins of poverty
  • an understanding of God’s heart for the vulnerable
  • a realization that God has a recommended solution to poverty
  • an opportunity to develop a healthy personal response to issues of poverty

I invite you to join Kurtis and I on January 23 and 24.

Please go to http://www.fhcanada.org/bootcamp  to register.


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